Accidental Radio Host Turned Podcaster
Because I believe in the power of audio, I have not stopped broadcasting, even though the public radio show I hosted for more than six years ended. I also strongly believe in encouraging others to find their voice and share their stories.
Like Rory Gilmore, I have, on occasion, dreamed of being Christiane Amanpour. Traveling the globe, interviewing world leaders, reporting from battle zones—it seems like a dream job to me! This desire may have contributed to my studying international affairs and, specifically, the arms trade for many years. Academics are not journalists, and yet I have often felt like I should have been one.
Little did I know, I would get a taste of being a “journalist” in my academic life. Not long after becoming the associate dean of the College of International Studies, my boss at the time asked me to be a panelist on a radio show that he hosted. He had previously worked at CNN and at the U.S. Senate, and he had a knack for media and a great radio voice. Recognizing that the university often hosted guests from around the world, he approached the local NPR affiliate and pitched the idea for World Views. I loved joining him in the studio to hash out the week’s world news or interview an amazing international visitor. It was a lot of work (I can’t imagine how much time Christiane Amanpour must spend preparing for her segments). But it was also a great experience for an administrator who had little time for research, yet still had tons of questions floating around inside her curious head.
In 2012, I assumed the position of dean and happily became the host of the award-winning World Views radio show. Taking a leap of faith along with our then producers at KGOU, we moved the program to an enviable spot during drive time on Fridays. We continued to highlight various global topics and outstanding international guests every week. The show served an important function in building international awareness in our local community. I could not believe how many people told me that they listened to our program on a regular basis!
World Views became a big part of my professional life. I had the opportunity to report the international stories we needed to hear from the ground across the world, on nearly every continent. The little digital recorder that my favorite radio producer loaned me in 2012 ended up seeing dozens of countries! But, as with all good things, World Views eventually came to an end and evolved into the College of International Studies Podcast. It continued for several months until it too ran its course. For more than seven years, I got to share international news and global awareness with our little part of the world – and I will always cherish the opportunity.
However, because I believe in the power of audio, I have not stopped broadcasting. I co-founded proFmagazine (now AMPLIFY), a publication by, for and about feminists in higher education, to pass the microphone to those who are often silenced. We produced a podcast called proFcast to share their stories. I also recently started a podcast with outspoken Oklahomans called On Our Campus. The show shines a light on corruption that has occurred on OU’s campus for decades with the goal of improving campus life for all.
I also strongly believe in encouraging others to find their voice and share their stories. To that end, Jacque Braun and I cofounded The Third Space, an empowering, supportive coworking and community-building environment in Norman, and outfitted it with a soundproof podcasting studio. Recording equipment is available, and Jacque will even produce the show for those who want to create a podcast but are unsure where or how to start. We believe that many overlooked stories must be shared, especially the stories of those who have lived in silence for too long.
Even though COVID-19 has prevented us from gathering in Studio 3 for in person broadcasts, we have continued to produce podcasts at an appropriate physical distance via the internet. Three new podcasts have emerged from our time in quarantine, such as Four Grown-ass Women of the Apocalypse, Home is Here, and Corruption is Deadly. Because we believe that podcasts can increase awareness, increase conversation, and improve dialogue, we are dedicated to doing what we can to make more voices heard. Check out our regular podcasts on AMPLIFY: The Voice of the Third Space.