TRACE announces 2018 winners of its Prize for Investigative Reporting: Kelly Carr and Jaimi Dowdell of The Boston Globe and Investiga Lava Jato, overseen by Convoca

Share this post

The TRACE Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports projects that encourage greater commercial transparency, last night announced the winners of the 2018 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting at an award ceremony at The Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Kelly Carr and Jaimi Dowdell, freelance reporters writing for The Boston Globe, were awarded for their investigation “Secrets in the Sky”, which details the failures of the Federal Aviation Administration’s registration of U.S. planes and pilots. The judges said: “They started with a tiny strand of a story about a fatal private plane crash in Venezuela. By the end, these freelance reporters had traveled far and wide to produce a mesmerizing tale about a gaping regulatory hole in aircraft registration procedures that has allowed drug dealers, corrupt politicians, and potential terrorists to secretly register private planes in the United States and operate them with little risk of scrutiny. It’s terrifying and beautifully written.”

“We're inspired by the TRACE Foundation's commitment to support investigative journalism and we're honored to have our work recognized by the 2018 prize. Reporting on these types of issues often requires the unspooling of layers upon layers of business entities and transactions. This takes countless hours and effort but is key to bringing important issues to light,” said Jaimi Dowdell. “Without support for this type of in-depth reporting, important stories would go untold and powers that need to be held accountable would continue to lurk in the shadows.”

Investiga Lava Jato, a team of 20 reporters from Latin America and Africa overseen by nonprofit newsroom Convoca, received the award for their project “Investiga Lava Jato”, which developed and disseminated in-depth reports about the Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) scandal. The judges said: “An exemplary and ambitious collaboration of 20 next-generation investigative journalists from a dozen media outlets across Latin America and Africa exposed fresh details about the company at the core of the sprawling Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) scandal. In an investigation of amazing breadth, this international team showed how the company got special treatment that allowed it to collect more than $6 billion in cost overruns on projects in seven countries where it paid bribes to local officials.”

“Investigating the corruption network of Brazilian construction companies required cross-border, collaborative, persistent and effective work. The Investiga Lava Jato team worked together to contribute to exposing corruption and explain to people how corrupt systems affect their lives.  We're honored to have our work recognized by the 2018 prize,” said Milagros Salazar, Director of Convoca.   

Honorable mentions were awarded to Joachim Dyfvermark, Sven Bergman, Erik Palm, Miranda Patrucic, Ola Westerberg, Olesya Shmagun, Gino Harel, Luc Tremblay, working with the OCCRP, SVT, CBC/Radio-Canada, Novaya Gazeta and TT News Agency, for their investigation “Agents of Influence”, and to Simona Weinglass, investigative reporter for The Times of Israel for her investigation into Israel’s binary options industry.

“Unearthing commercial corruption is a difficult and, too often, dangerous job for investigative reporters,” said TRACE President Alexandra Wrage. “We are delighted to honor such deserving recipients, and to congratulate not just those who have won, but all journalists worldwide who unearth corruption.”

The 2019 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting will open in the autumn of 2018. For more details, visit


About the TRACE Foundation

The TRACE Foundation was established to promote, support and fund research, investigative journalism, publications, videos and related projects that encourage greater commercial transparency and advance anti-bribery education. For more information, visit