The Welles Prize honors the memory of Christopher J. Welles, a former director of the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship. A leading business writer from the 1960s to the 1980s, Welles was known for his penetrating accounts of corporate abuse and misbehavior. The Welles Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding business story or series by a Knight-Bagehot alum.
Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, the managing editor of Ghana Business News, was awarded the Welles Prize for his stories on financial corruption in Ghana and exploitation of the country’s natural resources. Dogbevi launched the news site in 2008 and runs it mainly on his own with the help of occasional volunteers. Among his stories, he combed through the Pandora Papers to uncover the Israeli ownership of a company that was profiting from government contracts. He investigated a former Ghanaian Ambassador to the U.S. for engaging in business deals outside of his home country, which is prohibited by the Vienna Convention. And he examined the lack of regulation and oversight of the gold mining industry.
Jeff Horwitz, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, was awarded his second Welles Prize, this one for his reporting on “The Facebook Files,” a series that dove into internal documents to reveal the company’s own research and awareness of the harms and dangers of its platform. Among other things, the stories showed how VIP users are exempted from Facebook rules on harassment and exploitation; that Facebook was aware of Instagram’s dangers to young users, especially teenage girls; and that the company often did not adequately respond when employees raised alarms about evidence of human trafficking, organ selling and abuses, via the social media site.