Tracing the Story

Winners of TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting share the story behind the story

See behind the story with the TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Global Reporting Centre’s TRACE Education Series. Learn from the experiences of investigative journalists working on TRACE award-winning stories from start to impact.

The TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting recognizes exceptional journalism uncovering business-related bribery and financial crime. Since 2016, the award has recognized some of the best investigative journalists from around the world.

In this series, TRACE award-winners share their experiences and tips – from how each story got started, through the reporting process, right to the impact of each story on the reporting team and the world. Develop your own skills and get advice from a diverse group of reporters breaking stories with a global impact.

Stories

Credit: Alicia Tatone, Buzzfeed News / ICIJ

The FinCEN Files

A Buzzfeed News-ICIJ collaboration investigated financial documents that revealed that banks that were tracking and flagging suspicious transactions — as mandated by law — continued to bank with the same clients. Winner of the 2021 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Credit: Ferdinand Mensah Ayité

Pétrolegate

Ferdinand Mensah Ayité is the second Honourable Mention for the TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2021 for his series on “Petrolegate,” a corruption scandal involving the organisation that monitors the price of oil in the Togolese Republic.

Credit: Marwen Ben Mustapha - Inkyfada / ICIJ

Luanda Leaks

Fergus Shiel was part of the ICIJ-FRONTLINE team that received an Honourable Mention for the 2021 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting for “Luanda Leaks,” an investigation into two decades of corrupt deals by Angola’s wealthiest business woman.

Credit: Al-Aalem.

Schools of Illusion

Asaad Al-Zalzali on uncovering mismanaged school funds in Iraq for a story that won the 2020 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Credit: Wesley Bedrosian for ProPublica

The Extortion Economy

Renee Dudley from ProPublica won the 2020 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting when she discovered the link between insurance payouts and increasing ransomware attacks.

Credit: Edin Pašović

Tajikistan: Money by Marriage

Vlad Lavrov was part of the OCCRP team that was an Honourable Mention for the 2019 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting for shining a light on the intertwined political and business fortunes in Tajikistan.

A still from “The Profiteers." Credit: Africa Uncensored

The Profiteers

John-Allan Namu and the Africa Uncensored team won the TRACE Prize for Investigate Reporting in 2019 for their documentary “The Profiteers” that exposed money laundering done by South Sudanese politicians and generals.

Credit: The Boston Globe.

Secrets in the Sky

Kelly Carr and Jaimi Dowdell discuss their investigation on the failures of registration of aircraft in the U.S. that won the 2018 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Illustration by Arthur Jones / ICIJ Investigations

Panama Papers

Will Fitzgibbon talks about the Panama Papers, a series of stories detailing the offshore financial secrets of the world's elite that won the 2017 TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Ian Urbina reports in Miragoâne, Haiti on maritime 'repo men', who recover stolen ships. Credit: Josué Azor

Maritime ‘Repo Men’: A last resort for stolen ships

Ian Urbina received an Honorable Mention for the TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2016, for a series on maritime lawlessness and the often shady work of "repo men."

The 1MDB Scandal

Bradley Hope and Tom Wright won the TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2016 for their article in the Wall Street Journal about the $6 billion scandal that rocked the Malaysian government and a major U.S. bank.