Detours is a free-ranging podcast that explores the working lives of multimedia storytellers and the issues that engage them around the world.


Featuring interviews with an eclectic mix of journalists, photographers and filmmakers, we delve deep into the craft of reportage, projects past and present, the challenges of the field and the motives that drive them onward. Recorded in our Oakland, CA studio and on street corners spanning Bangkok to Baghdad, these are unfiltered conversations with the people who are blazing their own path through daunting new media terrain.


Our weekly hour-long program is hosted by veteran journalist Bill Wheeler and executive produced by Jason Motlagh of Blackbeard Media, with support from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.


Bill Wheeler // Host

Bill is a veteran freelance writer and producer who has reported from throughout Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Coverage of refugees fleeing war by boat, the rise of neo-fascist parties and the radicalization of second-generation Europeans are but some of the stories that have won him recognition. His focus often attempts to take the measure of governments' abilities to contend with legacies of conflict, disaster, and environmental degradation and to examine the consequences in human terms. Bill’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, McSweeney's Quarterly, TIME, Playboy, GOOD magazine, Christian Science Monitor and others.


Jason Motlagh // Producer

Jason is an award-winning multimedia journalist whose work focuses on human rights and lives lived in extremis. Formerly TIME Magazine’s Afghanistan correspondent, he has reported from more than fifty countries and a half-dozen conflicts spanning West Africa to Southeast Asia for National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Guardian and The Economist. He’s an International Reporting Fellow with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and director of Blackbeard Media, an Oakland, California-based company that produces news documentaries for Al Jazeera, Nat Geo and others. Jason also hosts investigations for AJ+, Fault Lines, People & Power and SBS Dateline.


Casey Lee Hurt // Sound Engineer

Casey Lee Hurt is an award-winning songwriter, playwright and composer best known for his work as creator and music director of the musical 'The Unfortunates’. It premiered at the 2013 Oregon Shakespeare Festival then reopened in 2016 at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, where the SF Chronicle said the music “grabs hold and lifts your spirits ever higher." Casey Lee is currently working with New York playwright Lucy Thurber on 'Revival', a new musical based on his life story. He has also composed and recorded music for television shows like Criminal Minds, Pretty Little Liars and One Tree Hill.


Graelyn Brashear // Assistant Producer

Graelyn Brashear is a multimedia journalist and master’s candidate at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She earned a degree in Journalism and Media Studies from Rutgers University, and has worked as a print reporter and editor in daily, online and weekly publications. Her radio reporting has been featured on public radio stations in Alaska and California and on American Public Media’s Marketplace.