“Documenting Hate,” a two-part investigative series by ProPublica and PBS Frontline, won the News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary. Produced by ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson, along with producer Karim Hajj and editor/producer Jacquie Soohen of Midnight Films, and directed by Midnight Films’ Rick Rowley, the documentaries revealed some of the most violent figures within America’s resurgent white supremacist movement, as well as the members’ presence in the U.S. military and governmental failures to curb the criminal activities of dangerous white power groups.
Part one, “Documenting Hate: Charlottesville,” investigated the white supremacists and neo-Nazis involved in the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, “Unite the Right” rally, and it revealed how ill-prepared law enforcement was to handle the influx of hate groups from across the nation. The second film, “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,” identified former and active-duty members of the military as members of Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi terrorist group linked to five murders.
Much of the reporting featured in the films started with online stories written for the ProPublica and Frontline websites by Thompson and freelancers Ali Winston and Jake Hanrahan, as well as online videos produced by ProPublica’s Lucas Waldron.
The journalistic investigation generated real-world impact, including a congressional inquiry into the military’s handling of white supremacists within its ranks and the prosecution of nine members of white supremacist groups.
The Marine Corps court-martialed Lance Cpl. Vasillios Pistolis, who was identified by ProPublica and Frontline as a member of Atomwaffen and a participant in the violence at the Charlottesville rally. Pistolis was eventually convicted on charges of disobeying orders and making false statements and was ousted from the Marines.
Michael Miselis, an aerospace engineer with defense contractor Northrop Grumman, lost his job after reporters identified him as a member of a white power gang called the Rise Above Movement. Federal authorities eventually arrested Miselis and seven other members or associates of RAM on rioting charges, citing the reporting of ProPublica and Frontline. Four of those men have pleaded guilty to federal charges for their roles in the violence at the Charlottesville rally, with three of the men receiving sentences of more than two years in prison.
See the full list of winners from the News & Documentary Emmy Awards here.