ProPublica has named two journalists to spearhead its expansion into visual investigations — journalism that uses video, images and audio as primary sources of information. The team will be responsible for gathering and analyzing visual evidence, and turning it into a compelling video or visual story.
Thalia Beaty has been hired as senior producer of the visual investigations team. Beaty joins ProPublica from ZigZag, a podcast about journalism, entrepreneurship and blockchain technology, where she served as producer. Prior to this role, she was a journalist at Storyful, anchoring investigations into misinformation around stories from the Parkland, Florida, shooting to the chemical attack in Douma, Syria. While at Storyful, Beaty also partnered on visual investigations with other outlets, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, verifying and sourcing footage using open-source and proprietary tools. A recent Fulbright scholar who reported from Germany on migration and asylum policy, Beaty has also worked for WNYC and Al Jazeera English.
Lucas Waldron joins the visual investigations team as a producer after working as ProPublica’s social visuals and graphics producer, innovating ProPublica’s social video across several platforms. His work for the “Documenting Hate” series — compiling video and images from social media, as well as messages from a secret neo-Nazi chatroom, to identify members of white supremacist groups who committed violence throughout the country — was recently named a finalist for the National Magazine Award for social media. Waldron has also led his own investigations, such as a co-reported piece on the troubling way that police investigate the murders of trans women.
“Over the past few years, our newsroom has recognized the growing importance of video, audio and images to identifying abuses of power,” said Claudia Milne, ProPublica senior editor, video. “Thalia and Lucas are creative thinkers with a proven track record of following visual trails of evidence to tell impactful stories across mediums, and we look forward to doing more ambitious work with them in this emerging field.”