Riham Feshir visits MNSU to talk transition into podcasting

Feshir’s popular 74 seconds series explores police brutality content

Riham Feshir visited Minnesota State University, Mankato to talk about her transition from journalist to podcaster on Oct. 23.

As an employee for Minnesota Public Radio, Feshir creates stories for the radio station on general assignment.

She made international headlines when she and co-creator Jon Collins created “74 Seconds,”, a podcast analyzing the death of Philando Castile. The death, aftermath and trial of police officer Jeronimo Yanez received a lot of coverage in the news.

Feshir had a lot of experience writing about police brutality and wanted to explore this case in particular. She contacted Collins and they pitched the podcast idea.

The story was getting international attention, so there was a lot more pressure on Feshir to get the facts right and still produce great content. Unlike most podcasts, “74 Seconds” is split into two different styles.

The first half of the podcast series explores the background information on the incident, from profile episodes to what exactly happened the night of the death.

Podcasts have become very popular lately as a serious type of media. A podcast is a fully produced audio file including voice, music and other effects. Feshir explained that podcasts reach a larger audience than just having a story segment put on the airwaves.

These podcasts can be streamed, downloaded and listened to anywhere by anyone. Podcasts come in a variety of styles such as serious news investigations like “74 Seconds”, to mysterious fiction such as “Welcome to Night Vale”. Fashir said that once you start listening to podcasts, you cannot stop.

You may be wondering how to venture into podcasts and what kinds of podcasts are available. A member of the audience asked Feshir what podcasts she listens to as a podcaster. She pulled out her phone and scrolled down giggling a little.

She then listed off over 10 podcasts, almost panting as she finished. Her list of podcasts included “Radiolab”, “Reveal”, Code Switch”, Imbedded”, “The Daily” and more. You can download the NPR One App and Podcast Republic to listen to podcasts on your device. It is obvious that podcasts are Feshir’s passion: producing and creating content to share with the world.

Feshir graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism in 2008. During college, she worked at the Minnesota Daily, usually putting more time into a story than class.

After graduation, she found work in Park Rapids, a small town in northern Minnesota. There she was able to learn all about the workings of a newspaper. The smaller size gave her more focus on different aspects of the news business.

Next, Feshir worked in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and then in a suburb of the Twin Cities writing a variety of stories. There she was able to work with big papers like the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

After a lot of work, Feshir landed a gig with Minnesota Public Radio. They were looking for young reporters who were going to focus on digital media, as Feshir said, “webifying it”.

Since “74 Seconds” Feshir has moved on to immigration as her new topic. She loves being a part of the community in Minneapolis and feels like living where you report really gives you an edge.

Feshir repeated countless times that the quality of your reporting and content is always going to be more important than the sound of your funny voice.

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