Spotlight fellow (and a “pro” from the reporting book) Jaimi Dowdell honored for her “Secrets in the Sky” series

Jaimi Dowdell, one of the pros in the “Dynamics of News Reporting and Writing” book, won the TRACE prize this year for her investigative work on the shoddy nature of the FAA’s registration of pilots and planes in the U.S.:

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — 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.”

Dowdell and co-author Kelly Carr were part of the “Spotlight Project” when they wrote this two-part series. The project came together in the wake of the movie “Spotlight,” which chronicled the Boston Globe’s work to expose the child sexual abuse scandal associated with clergy in the arch diocese.

In addition to offering her perspective on life as an investigative journalist, Dowdell also talked to us about the ways in which you can tell if going after “The Big Story” is worth your time. (You can read that post here. Links to the series are there as well.)

She also took time out to do a one-on-one interview for the blog about how students can succeed in publishing tough stories.

Congrats to Jaimi and Kelly and thanks for taking part in this book!

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