Revitalizing MEDIA INDIGENA

Why taking a break after 147 consecutive weeks is the best guarantee of many more episodes to come

It’s been quite the ride here at MEDIA INDIGENA since our re-incarnation as a weekly Indigenous current affairs podcast.

And, I must confess, starting out back in March of 2016, there’s no way I could’ve imagined this ride taking us to where we are now—on the verge of attaining 150 episodes, or close to three uninterrupted years of weekly programs, attracting an ever-growing base of listeners and support in the process.

Ho-leh, three years: let that sink in for a moment. I sure have, which is partially why I’m letting you know today that, as of our next episode, MEDIA INDIGENA will go on a much-needed, short-term hiatus. Something other shows do on a routine basis, but a move we’re only making now.

WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE MI

Allow me to pull back the curtain a bit further to more fully account for what is about to happen, and why.

A key point I’d like to emphasize here is how the show is made and by whom. Something regular listeners may not know is that, outside of our roundtablers’ weekly conversations, it’s been me and me alone who has borne the lion’s share of the work that makes the podcast happen—from coordinating its production, to the refining of its raw audio into a finished product that now averages one full hour a week, to distributing and marketing it through our various channels (not least, our @mediaINDIGENA Twitter account, now at 20,000+ tweets and nearly 25,000 followers). These exact same tasks are typically performed by entire teams of people at places like CBC Radio. (Teams whose members take time off every summer and every Christmas, I might add.)

And yet, while it’s been nothing short of amazing to witness MEDIA INDIGENA’s growth and evolution, it’s also important you know that this podcast is far from the only thing on my plate, and such a combined workload has made navigating and fulfilling my personal and professional responsibilities a serious challenge.

All of which to say, if I’m to going to both make the podcast and make a living, I’ve currently no choice but to take on other work. I’d ultimately love for that to change, and taking some time away lets me focus on formulating a plan for making that happen.

LOOKING AHEAD

Perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is that the timing of our hiatus comes on the heels of some pretty major milestones for MI: for example, never have we enjoyed more listeners or financial support. Our first-ever live-audience shows (in Edmonton and Winnipeg) a few months back have also been highlights, precisely the kind of event we aspire to grow in both scale and number.

So it could be said that MEDIA INDIGENA finds itself at a crossroads. We’ve been here before. Obviously, we all love doing the show—and by ‘we’ I mean myself, Ken, Brock, Kim and Candis—and we’re all loathe to imagine our lives without it. As difficult as it can be to discuss certain subjects on the program, our weekly get-togethers have proven to be a true source of shared solace, joy and intellectual enrichment. I feel fortunate to call all of these fellow roundtablers my friends, some of whom only came into my life because of the podcast.

But rest assured that what is ‘for now’ won’t be forever: the plan is for MEDIA INDIGENA to come out of hiatus around mid-February. And while we rest, recover, and reflect on how the podcast might evolve from here, we will of course be ever-mindful that, as a 100% audience-supported media outlet, MI’s work ultimately relies on what our audience is ready, willing and able to support.

Thank you for taking the time to read this message; I am genuinely hopeful that we will all one day look back upon this move as the right course of action at the right time, one that ultimately ensured the long-term viability of MEDIA INDIGENA.

Ekosi,

Rick Harp
MI Host & Producer

3 thoughts on “Revitalizing MEDIA INDIGENA

  1. Totally understandable decision from you and the fellow roundtablers.
    I hope you’ll get everything you need to come back with even more joy and insightful thoughts!
    And I’ll be delighted then to go back to my weekly podcast and to listen to Kim, Candis, Ken and Brock (oh I feel a little bit too confident with the first name only naming!) with an even greater pleasure.
    Thank you so much for your time and dedication in Media Indigena. I’m listening the podcast from belgium and it has learned me SO MUCH. And it also kind of changed my life… well, if you consider crossing the ocean to go study at the University of Alberta next year as a big change in one’s life. Yup, that’s the effect of listening to Kim TallBear, you just want to get on a plane and listen to her in a classroom. Ok, enough about me!
    Thanks again and until next time, then!

  2. PS : ok I just noticed that this comment is a bit poorly written and I apologize! Its the evening here in brussels and well, it’s not my native language. Anyway!

  3. Ho-leh is right, Rick! If you take a holiday, you’ll be fresher and more confident enough to skip the italics on the words in your own language next time 😉
    Suggestions…
    1: syndication? You’re working TWO jobs AND producing a broadcast-quality programme! Can you earn enough money to pay for production assistance?
    2: ads? As we listeners have yet to pony up like other Patreons, I can see MI going to a fortnightly format so you don’t burn out.
    3: volunteers? I wonder how many amateur and local broadcasters would be willing to work with you. Of course you may not want to add a fourth job as volunteer coordinator to your plate.

    Klahowya from Skwayways on unceded Coast Salish territory AKA the False Creek Flats in Vancouver

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