Shaw launches podcast initiative boosting BIPOC stories through MRU
by Riggs Zyrille Vergara, Publishing Editor
In partnership with Mount Royal University (MRU), Shaw Communications Inc. is introducing a new podcast initiative this coming fall intended to encourage community storytelling especially from the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC).
The project called Community Podcast Initiative (CPI) will be operating with the $100,000 donation from Shaw and the guidance from the journalism and broadcast media studies programs at MRU.
According to Meg Wilcox, one of the program’s co-leads and assistant professor of journalism, the programs’ faculty and students will collaborate with communities to find authentic and inclusive ways to share stories not normally heard in traditional media.
“We live in a world where news travels fast and topics about race, identity and diversity are frequently at the forefront of the conversation,” said Chethan Lakshman, vice president, External Affairs, Shaw Communications.
Aside from the focus on BIPOC stories, the initiative will also provide technical space and recording equipment and software.
Additionally, the initiative has a focus on using podcasts to advance reconciliation and storytelling from Indigenous communities.
Both the participating community organizations and students will also receive writing strategies and training through advanced podcast workshops and conferences. Research on podcasting will also be provided to emphasize its role in knowledge mobilization.
Shaw and MRU will give out awards to excellent podcasters throughout the duration of the initiative, and will make sure that a hub of podcast content produced by the students and the organizations will be maintained.
“The CPI will not only create an open and educational platform for these important conversations to happen, it will help develop students’ skills so they can better share the stories so important to our communities.” Lakshman added.
The initiative will be based in the new Podcast Studio in MRU which is still under construction. This studio was made possible by a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Shaw. The space will include a recording studio, two editing suites, a voicing booth and a lounge and meeting area.