Over the past two years, I created 51 podcasts for “One Mother’s Voice: in the Name of Justice.” Topics included bail reform, private prisons, prison labor issues, the public defender system, video visitations, and women and prisons. My target audience: mothers with sons in prison.
As the mother of a son who spent 16 years in and out of New York State correctional facilities before his untimely death in an upstate prison, I believe that I have much to say about criminal justice on both the personal and political levels.
Each week, I also reported on three or four relevant news stories and closed with my commentary about a variety of subjects, including the O.J.Simpsons parole hearing, “We Are Not Monsters” Independent Lens documentary, media’s use of the word “thug,” and President Trump’s agenda (or lack, thereof) for criminal justice reform.
In April, I traveled to Montgomery, Alabama to cover a 2-day “Peace and Justice Summit” sponsored by the Equal Justice Initiative, which opened two museums–The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. The Memorial commemorates the lynchings of more than “4400 African American men, women, and children hung, burned alive, shot, drowned or beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950.” I recorded the reactions of several attendees to the weekends’ events.
I meticulously researched, wrote, and produced on a regular basis. My producer and I constantly discussed various strategies to improve content, to market OMV, and to reach a wider audience.
(A colleague of mine recently launched “Black Girls Talk Sports” and within a very short period had 10,000 listeners and won 2018 “Best Online Talk Show,” Sports. I wondered how she had accomplished this.)
With no budget, I was not able to purchase equipment to do telephone interviews. (I am convinced that having this capability would have attracted more listeners)
We posted episodes to Spreaker, SoundCloud, and my website.
I love every aspect of developing the podcasts, and hope in time to attract more followers/listeners.
Eventually, my producer urged me to take a summer break to re-group and re-think ways to market OMV.
Reluctantly, I agreed.
Hence, for the next three months, I will focus on developing my book proposal, seducing an agent, and contemplating self-publishing.
Come October, OMV will return better and bolder. Stay tuned.