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What I do

I am a journalist and media producer with expertise in radio production and a passion for detail, accuracy, and excellence. I strive to put real people at the center of my narratives and to tell their stories with compassion and respect.

The wide range of topics I cover include everything from the personal struggles of everyday people to the challenges of running large organizations, to politics, culture and community development. I am a diverse writer/producer and I take on each story with integrity, curiosity, and a commitment to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. I am experienced in daily news production as well as long-form storytelling.

In the beginning, there was radio

I came to journalism through public radio, and I have always felt lucky and honored to do this work. I have had the privilege to interview some famous, talented, interesting and humble people, and I’ve been able to use my creativity and analytical mind in the service of storytelling. It’s part of who I am and there’s nothing else I’d rather do.

From the moment I started writing and producing news stories in 1996 as a production intern for KQED-FM’s statewide show, The California Report, I felt something uncanny in my bones. I noted a deep satisfaction and thrill that came from telling stories in sound-rich and creative ways. Now, two decades later, that same sense of awe and spark hasn’t dimmed. My passion for mastering the elements of a complex story continues to guide my work every day.

A large swath of my daily radio news reporting experience has been with Minnesota Public Radio, where I was a staff reporter from 1999 until late 2007. I covered just about everything from agriculture to higher education, and state and local politics. I occasionally hosted an interview tech show called Future Tense. I’m so grateful to MPR for the amazing colleagues and opportunities I found there.

marisa_interview IRAQBefore MPR, I covered underserved communities and access to health care for WDET in Detroit. During that time, I traveled to Iraq with a local relief group to produce what became an award-winning series of reports linking daily life in Iraq to the conditions facing thousands of Iraqi refugees living in the Detroit metro area.

It’s my business to tell stories

Since starting my freelance business, DeScribe Media, LLC, in 2008, I have been writing more and more print stories, including news features and profiles for organizations and publications including: Reuters, the Star Tribune, MinnPost, Forum Communications, The St. Paul Foundation, Finance & Commerce, Minnesota Lawyer, and Minnesota Cities magazine.

Over the years, I have also reported for — and/or provided production assistance to — local and national broadcast and media networks and programs including the BBC, National Public Radio, Chicago Public Radio, Georgia Public Broadcasting, Blue Moon Productions, America Abroad, On the Media, The World, Marketplace, Radiolab, and This American Life.

Some awards, too

As an independent radio producer, I recently created a series of 60 short radio spots about Minnesota history. The program, MN90: Minnesota History in 90 seconds, continues to air statewide as part of a collaboration between the Minnesota Historical Society and community radio stations. I also recently reported, wrote, produced, voiced and edited two award-winning radio documentaries. The first, from 2012, is about Karen refugees in Minnesota, and the second is about an adult woman with Down syndrome, produced in 2014.

And there’s more

For more details about my life in journalism, please check out my profile on LinkedIn.

Thanks so much for being here. Take a look around and let me know what you think.