WAMU 88.5 Contributors

Jacob Fenston

Senior News Editor for Special Projects

Jacob Fenston edits stories and special projects at WAMU. He is also responsible for the sound design, editing and produciton of The Big Listen

He has produced and edited WAMU's Metro Connection, and reported feature stories for the show. His work has also appeared on national shows, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Here & Now, and has been recognized by regional and national awards. But his best story ever did not win any awards, even though it required recording audio while riding a bicycle the wrong way down busy Oakland, Calif. streets.

Before coming to WAMU, Jacob was a reporter at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., covering issues of health, wealth and poverty in the rural Midwest. In a previous life, he was a stage manager for a theater company in Portland, Oregon. While in Oregon, he started producing radio as a volunteer at community radio station KBOO. Jacob is a native of the great state of California, and has a masters in journalism from U.C. Berkeley.


Articles Written by Jacob Fenston

WAMU 88.5
After Chief Cathy Lanier departs the Metropolitan Police Department on Sept. 17, she'll be remembered for nearly a decade of service in the top job. But before she became chief, she had a long career as a regular cop. What was she like as a rookie on the streets of Petworth? What...
WAMU 88.5
Tuesday is the fifth anniversary of the rare East Coast earthquake that shook the Washington region and caused some damage that remains unfixed. The 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit about 100 miles south of Washington shortly before 2 p.m. on Aug. 23, 2011, lasting between 30 and 40 seconds. ...
WAMU 88.5
Christopher Barry — the only child of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry — passed away over the weekend. There's been no official cause of death, but several media outlets have reported that it was from a drug overdose. Jacob Fenston spoke with someone familiar with the struggles the two Barrys faced: former D.C. Council member Jim Graham. Graham worked with both Barrys —...
WAMU 88.5
This week, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon put up an unexpected new roadblock for Maryland’s Purple Line. The 16-mile light-rail project seemed to finally be on track to break ground this year, after surviving the election of a skeptical Republican governor...
WAMU 88.5
New parents in the Washington region may have very different experiences, depending on whether they live in D.C., Maryland or Virginia: A new national report highly ranks the District for laws supporting people with very young children, but the two states lag far behind. U...
WAMU 88.5
By the end of the year, all officers in the Metropolitan Police Department will be equipped with body-worn cameras, costing the city more than $5 million this year. The program, approved late last year by the D.C. Council, gets mixed marks in a new national scorecard that evaluated 50 departments around the country. Body worn camer...
WAMU 88.5
Last week was the busiest week ever for Virginia Railway Express, as some commuters looked for transit options beyond the Metro system. Metrorail was in the middle of its latest SafeTrack maintenance surge on the Yellow Line, and many Virginia riders turned to VRE, which runs two lines through Alexandria into the District. ...
WAMU 88.5
Jonathan Newton started law school at the University of the District of Columbia two days after the shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri. The discussion at the historically black university was heated, and Newton started thinking of ways to make a difference. Now, as he gets ready for his final year of law school, he and many of his classmates are still fi...
WAMU 88.5
After a week when the nation has been torn by two graphic videos of shootings by police and the killing of five officers in Dallas, the mayor of D.C. is saying that one of the city's public safety challenges is not enough police officers.  “People aren’t concerned about the police. They’re concerned about the criminals,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, while...
WAMU 88.5
Greater Greater Washington founder (and fellow transportation nerd) David Alpert tells us about his website's MetroGreater contest. We answer questions from Metropocalypse listeners about scratchy Metro train speakers and the air conditioning on the system's new 7000-series cars. And we discuss the ...
WAMU 88.5
Ever since Metro announced its series of service shutdowns and repairs, officials have been urging commuters to stay off trains, with huge signs reading “SafeTrack is here! Rethink your commute.” Commuters seem to be taking that advice, with ridership at so...
WAMU 88.5
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world, and this weekend, it's celebrating a big birthday. The museum is reopening its main exhibit hall, the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. It’s also staying open all night. Forty years ago, it was quiet in halls of the hulking new building on Independence Avenue. Bob van der Linden wa...
WAMU 88.5
D.C. residents are likely to vote in November on a proposed constitution for what would become the nation's 51st state. Mayor Muriel Bowser is heading the District's current statehood push. She says the vote will send a bold message to Congress. But it's not the first time D.C. has tried for statehood or full voting rights. WAMU's Jacob Fenston spoke with historian George Dere...
WAMU 88.5
Today in D.C., voters are heading to the polls in five council races, and a last-in-the-nation presidential primary. It may not be the most exciting primary,  coming a week after Hillary Clinton took the title of “presumptive nominee,” but voting for nominees, and for president, is a right that D.C. residents didn’t always have. Elec...
WAMU 88.5
Hello, and welcome to the Season 1 finale! Can you believe we've made 15 of these things? We sure can't. If you've been with us since the beginning, you have our eternal gratitude. If you're a new listener, welcome! Thank you for visiting. We hope you stick around. We'll be back with even bigger listens later in the summer.  We're going to get this shebang started with ou...
WAMU 88.5
Hey, pals! It's almost summer here in the Northern Hemisphere. And that means it's road trip time! So pack up the kids, put the dog on the car roof and let's hit the asphalt!  We start our trip very close to home — at the D.C. Public Library. A few years ago, this venerable institution invested in a bunch of digital technology — video and audio recording equipment, 3D...
WAMU 88.5
Greetings, and welcome to this week's episode. It's action-packed, so in the words of my good friend, Nate, let's get this party started! P.S. - Nate is 5. We kick things off with a chat between Jacob and Lauren about the grim state of affairs for non-straight-white-men in podcast land. Basically, we looked at the top...
WAMU 88.5
Hiya, pals! This week on The Big Listen — we're celebrating moms! So if you're a mom, or if you have a mom, or if you know a mom, this episode is for you. We start the show with a chat with Tally Abecassis. She's a documentarian who hosts the podcast First Day Back. And she's also a mom. But sadly, Tally's own mother died about eight y...
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Hello, and happy spring! Let's get started, shall we?  On this week's episode, we are joined by the mother/daughter crimefighting podcasting duo, Gretchen and Eliza Rubin. Gretchen is the bestselling author of The Happiness Project (among other books) and she hosts the Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast from Panoply....
WAMU 88.5
Campaign cash was at the center of the Democratic primary in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District — indeed it was the most expensive race for a House seat in the nation. But it was ultimately Jamie Raskin, who spent the least of the three front-runners, who won the race. Three months ago, this election b...