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Drilled Expands Team to Lead Cross-Border Climate Investigations

Press Release · via Shore Fire Media ·

Drilled, the global climate reporting network expanded in August by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt, is pleased to announce three new hires: Senior Editor Alleen Brown, previously a staff reporter at The Intercept whose reporting on state and corporate repression of Indigenous-led Dakota Access Pipeline opponents at Standing Rock has been cited in civil rights cases; Senior Editor and Writer Mary Annaïse Heglar, former Hot Take co-host known for her essays that dissect and interrogate the climate crisis; and Senior Editor and Reporter Molly Taft, who won a 2023 SEAL Environmental Award for their work at Earther. The new hires will help Drilled expand its cross-border investigations of the companies and organizations blocking global climate action.

Additionally, the company is expanding its global reporting network with two investigative journalists. Jason Pinas is an investigative reporter in Suriname where he covers government corruption and the oil and gas industry as it grows in the region. Estacio Valoi is a seasoned investigative journalist in Mozambique where he has spent many years reporting on the government, the fossil fuel industry, and environmental and human rights abuses.

“I’m thrilled to get to work with some of the people I’ve long admired for doing the most creative thinking on climate in expanding our coverage, not just into new countries but new topics and formats as well,” Drilled founder and executive editor Amy Westervelt said. In addition to its award-winning climate podcasts (Damages, Drilled, and Inherited), Drilled produces longform investigative stories, essays, blogs, and data-driven reports all geared toward helping the public understand how climate obstruction has worked and how to overcome it. “We also look forward to expanding our partner network in 2024, particularly outside the U.S.,” Westervelt said. In 2023, Drilled co-published stories with The Guardian, The Intercept, The New Republic, Heated, DeSmog, and The Nation.

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Bios for the three new Drilled hires:

Alleen Brown, Senior Editor

Alleen Brown is an independent investigative journalist based in New York. Her reporting on state and corporate repression of Indigenous-led Dakota Access Pipeline opponents at Standing Rock has been cited in civil rights cases, reports submitted to international human rights bodies, and more than a dozen books. Her award-winning investigation mapping over 6,500 prisons against heat, wildfire, and flood risk has provided foundational information for organizers and policymakers defining what climate change will mean for mass incarceration. She was previously a staff reporter at The Intercept and has written for Grist, The Guardian, Inside Climate News, The Appeal and other publications.

Mary Annaïse Heglar, Senior Editor, Writer

Mary Annaïse Heglar is known for her essays that dissect and interrogate the climate crisis, drawing heavily on her personal experience as a Black woman with deep roots in the South. Her work has appeared in New York Magazine, The Nation, The Boston Globe, Vox, Rolling Stone, and other outlets. Her work has also been featured in collections like All We Can Save, The World As We Knew It, The Black Agenda, Letters to the Earth, and Not Too Late. With investigative journalist Amy Westervelt, she is also the co-creator of the now-retired Hot Take podcast and newsletter, which ran from 2020 to 2023 and was heralded by The New York Times as “one of the most accessible environmental news podcasts on offer.” In 2020, Mary was selected as the inaugural writer in residence at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and has gone on to teach at Columbia University in New York and Tulane University in New Orleans. She received a SEAL Environmental Journalism award that same year. Mary is based in New Orleans, but her heart is in Mississippi and her soul is in Birmingham.

Molly Taft, Senior Editor and Reporter

Molly Taft is a freelance journalist. They recently served as a contributing editor on the climate vertical at the New Republic, and were a staff writer reporting on climate, tech, and Big Oil at Gizmodo’s Earther blog. Their work has also appeared in outlets including the Center for Public Integrity, The Intercept, Buzzfeed, VICE, and Teen Vogue. They won a 2023 SEAL Environmental Award for their work at Earther, and they earned a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, where they were a Stabile investigative fellow. They are based out of New York.

This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. We may make small edits for editorial reasons.

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