ProPublica announced on Friday that it has hired Ruth Talbot as a news applications developer. She will join the organization’s award-winning news apps team to design and develop interactive graphics and databases that hold the powerful accountable and have real impact on the public. Talbot starts Nov. 8.
Talbot is currently a Graphics Reporter/Developer on the News Apps team at National Public Radio, where she works on a combination of graphics, data analysis and maintenance of the News Apps’ infrastructure and tooling. During her time there, she has helped create some of NPR’s highest-trafficked graphics reporting, including all of their COVID-19 trackers, and was one of three developers who redesigned and rebuilt NPR’s platform for the 2020 presidential elections. Talbot also led the geospatial analysis for several of NPR’s investigative pieces, including a look at whether COVID-19 testing sites were equitably distributed across Texas’s largest cities.
Before joining NPR, Talbot was a software engineer at Google, where she built new features on Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. While at Google, she received a fellowship to partner with the nonprofit GiveDirectly, creating mapping technology to identify areas in greatest need of aid in the wake of natural disasters. That partnership solidified her love of geospatial data, graphics and data analysis.
“Ruth’s news judgement and experience both in and out of a newsroom will be great assets to ProPublica,” said Ken Schwencke, editor of the news apps team. “We’re excited to have her on board.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining such an incredible team and organization,” Talbot said. “I cannot wait to start collaborating with and learning from journalists whose work I admire so much.”