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Investigative Reporting

2020 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting:
Uncovering Commercial Bribery  

“Every year, we receive  extraordinary examples of investigative journalism that expose corruption with the goal of advancing accountability and transparency. We look forward to receiving this year’s submissions and honoring the journalists undertaking this important work.” 

 Alexandra Wrage, President and Founder, TRACE.


“Corruption is a global virus, and the battle against it must be, too. The TRACE prize uniquely recognizes and encourages the courageous, meticulous journalism that is part of that fight, anywhere it finds a voice.”

Diana Henriques, TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting judge.

The TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting recognizes journalism that uncovers business-related bribery and financial crime with the goal of increasing commercial transparency and good governance. We are now accepting submissions for the 2020 award through 31 January 2020.

Nominees may be print, broadcast or online reporters from any country who have investigated commercial bribery schemes, business activities that create serious conflicts of interest or similar commercial misconduct. Team entries and multiple submissions per author are permitted. Book-length entries are not accepted. 

A panel of independent judges will review the submissions and select up to two winning entries, each of which will receive a cash prize of US$10,000. Reporter(s) will be invited to an award ceremony hosted by TRACE. The judges may also name up to two honorable mentions, who will each receive US$1,000.

For questions about eligibility or the application process, please contact Gigi O’Connell at [email protected].

Download the application

2020 Judging Panel:

  • William Gumede, Associate Professor, School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Founder and Chairman of the Democracy Works Foundation.

  • Diana B. Henriques, Financial writer and author, formerly with The New York Times.

  • Rosebell Kagumire, Writer and digital communication strategist, public speaker and award-winning blogger based in Kampala, Uganda.

  • Peter Klein, Executive Director of the Global Reporting Centre in Vancouver, BC. 

  • Donatella Lorch, Freelance reporter, formerly with The New York Times, NBC News and Newsweek, currently based in Ankara, Turkey.

  • Jorge Luis SierraPresident of the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, journalist security consultant and formerly a Knight International Journalism Fellow with the International Center for Journalists, based in Texas. 

Previous Winners of the TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting



(L-R) TRACE President Alexandra Wrage and Africa Uncensored's John-Allan Namu; freelance journalist Philippe Engels and Alexandra Wrage.

The 2019 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to a five-person team from Africa Uncensored for their investigation The Profiteers, which uncovered wartime corruption in East Africa. The team included John-Allan NamuElijah KanyiSamuel MuniaSteve Biko and Clement Kumalija.

The other winning team, Khadija Sharife from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Philippe Engels, freelance, exposed bribery in oil sales in their investigation "The Unlikely Partnership that Unlocked Congo's Crude." The story was published by both OCCRP and Médor.

Read the full press release here


(L-R) Representatives of the Investiga Lava Jato team: Raúl Olmos, Milagros Salazar and Flávio Ferreira; TRACE President Alexandra Wrage; Jaimi Dowdell and Kelly Carr.

The 2018 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to the Investiga Lava Jato team for their project "Investiga Lava Jato", overseen by nonprofit newsroom Convoca, and to Kelly Carr and Jaimi Dowdell, for their investigation "Secrets in the Sky" which was published in the Boston Globe.

Read the full press release here



The ICIJ Team (left) and Dorothee Myriam Kellou (right) accept the 2017 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting with TRACE President Alexandra Wrage.

The 2017 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) for The Panama Papers and to freelance Journalist, Dorothee Myriam Kellou, for her investigation into Lafarge's operations in Syria.

Read the full press release here. 


The 2016 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in conjunction with Swedish Television’s Uppdrag Granskning (Mission Investigate) and Sweden’s TT News Agency, for their investigation uncovering a complex Azerbaijan telecom scandal.

The other winning team was from The Wall Street Journal, for their reporting on the vast network of corruption relating to Malaysia's 1MDB fund.

Read the full press release here.