Announcement from Director of Video Micah Gelman, Deputy Director of Video Phoebe Connelly, Investigative Editor Jeff Leen and Rapid Response Investigative Editor Eric Rich:

Video is pleased to announce the formal creation of a team whose important work has already found a growing audience. The Visual Forensics Team will build upon our recent successes in investigative reporting based primarily on open-source visuals. Led by senior producer Nadine Ajaka, the team comprises video reporters Meg Kelly, Joyce Sohyun Lee, Elyse Samuels and Sarah Cahlan. They will continue to work closely with the Investigative Unit’s Rapid Response Team and continue their award-winning coverage of manipulated video with the Fact Checker team.

Working with Dalton Bennett and other members of the Rapid Team, Nadine’s group has developed a style for this method of reporting, as is evident in numerous video investigations, including an examination of George Floyd’s final minutes and an analysis of the crackdown on Lafayette Square before Trump’s photo op. Other pieces have illustrated how video evidence showed that several people suffered severe eye injuries at protests across the country, undermining official accounts, and how federal agents swept up Portland protesters based on inaccurate or insufficient information. The group has worked closely with the Graphics and Photo staffs to present and analyze video in breaking news situations, such as the aftermath of the Beirut blast.

The string of successes makes clear what this team can accomplish by partnering with coverage desks to dig into the most urgent stories of the day. We are excited to continue to expand the novel ways that The Post approaches investigative storytelling.

Nadine Ajaka joined The Post in 2017 as the senior producer for video platforms, overseeing video distribution on YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and Apple News. She is the person most responsible for growing our YouTube channel to nearly 1.5 million subscribers in just three years. In 2019, she oversaw a YouTube-first expansion of the Fact Checker video series and developed the Webby award-winning Washington Post’s Guide to Manipulated Video, before moving into the Visual Forensics role fulltime.

Meg Kelly joined The Post as a video editor for the Fact Checker in May 2017. She developed a video series for the Fact Checker column, produced and edited hundreds of videos and contributed reporting to dozens of stories — ranging from caravan conspiracy theories to what went wrong with covid-19 testing. She helped lead the team’s expanded focus on misleading visuals and began hosting the Fact Checker’s weekly YouTube series in February 2019. While reporting for the series, she obtained exclusive documents that laid bare the pay inequities in U.S. women’s soccer. Additionally, Meg contributes to the team’s ongoing database of President Trump’s false and misleading claims and co-authored the team’s best-selling book “Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth.” Together with Glenn Kessler and Salvador Rizzo, she earned an Honorable Mention for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting in 2019.

Joyce Sohyun Lee joined The Post in August 2017 as a video editor for Foreign. She was responsible for video coverage of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. In addition to coordinating coverage with foreign correspondents and videographers in those regions, she also reported on Cameroon’s unfolding civil conflict, the first Trump-Kim summit in South Korea and the fate of captured Islamic State members in Syria and Morocco. She has worked on several video investigations, including the video timeline of the clearing of Lafayette Square. Her work on the documentary The Assassination of Jamal Khashoggi won a Webby award and she was part of a Post team given a runner-up citation for the Overseas Press Club’s Bob Considine Award for best interpretation of international affairs.

Elyse Samuels joined The Post in October 2016 as a producer for the Facebook Live team. She transitioned to the Universal Desk, where she focused on editing videos to drive new storytelling and enhance print pieces online. After two years on the Video hub, she started as the team’s first video verification editor focused on verifying viral video and reporting on misinformation and manipulated video online, which included such projects as developing the Webby award-winning Washington Post’s Guide to Manipulated Video and debunking the slowed down video of Nancy Pelosi. She has hosted and reported for the Fact Checker and has frequently contributed to stories where we analyze visuals as part of investigations.

Sarah Cahlan joined The Post in early 2019 as a contract video editor for the Fact Checker and became full-time in December 2019. In her role, she reported and produced ambitious video fact checks, tallied multiple false claims from politicians on both sides of the aisle and produced the Fakeout video series, which showcased how online misinformation can lead to real-life and often troubling consequences. She was instrumental in bringing the guide to manipulated video to life and reporting and producing a comprehensive investigation into the theories surrounding the origins of covid-19. In 2020, she began to report and develop video investigations, including pieces on Iran’s mass graves, the role the cruise industry played in the spread of covid-19 and the clearing of protesters outside the White House.