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New Rates! Call for Pitches July 2016

Do you have a story with perspectives on an ongoing local, national, or global issue? Do you have access to voices and perspectives that get lost in mainstream media landscape? Do they have ideas about how to cope, and how to change things? If so, consider pitching to Making Contact!  We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. NewsFlash #1 We’ve increased our freelance rates! See below. NewsFlash #2  With software from Hearken, our Ever Wonder? widgets ask listeners to suggest questions for reporters to ask. Come experiment with getting these crowd-questions. If your story would benefit from seeking audience input upstream, tell us about that. Seeking Pitches Immigration and Elections: We want your pitches! We’re looking for character-driven stories that focus on how immigrant communities engage in U.S. electoral politics. Here are some themes we’re interested in exploring: How are undocumented communities working around elections to mitigate the U.S. Supreme Court decision halting the expansion of DACA and DAPA? What factors contribute to disparities in electoral participation within different communities? How are immigrant communities addressing mis-information about how to vote, new voter ID laws, and other barriers to participating in elections? Are immigrant communities organizing to put politicians in office?  What are the opportunities and challenges? How are communities organizing outside of the electoral process to influence politics locally and/or nationally? How are groups working against Trump and Trumpism beyond the conventions? How is campaign financing influencing immigration rhetoric and policies? Got an idea, let us know!  Open to all and we are especially  looking for reporters who are themselves immigrants for our Immigrants and Elections miniseries. Guns: We’re looking for stories that bring new perspectives on guns, gun violence, mass shootings, and masculinity. These could be personal stories. They could also be more investigative or explanatory pieces. We’d also welcome other pitches related to guns, maybe a look at one of several states’ legislation to allow or ban concealed carry on college campuses. Occupy, 5 Year Anniversary: For this show, we’re looking for a story about a small town in the U.S. that responded to the call to Occupy a public space as part of Occupy Wall Street. We want to know why they decided to participate 5 years ago. What difference did it make? And what lessons did they carry into their organizing today? People in Prison and Sentencing: We’re looking for stories detailing the effects of the prison systems on children and families, delving into life after incarceration, and stories examining sentence reduction reforms at the state level. For instance in California, Prop 47 passed in Fall 2014. It reduces drug possession and five...

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A new call for pitches coming in late July —and new rates!

We’ll have a new call for pitches in late July on Immigrants and Elections, Guns, People in Prison, Climate Change,  Occupy+5 and more… NEW RATES We’re trying out new rates for radio freelancers! Level 1. $800 plus travel reimbursement up to $100 “Involve research and original reporting • Require the reporter to have substantial subject matter expertise • Involve time-consuming reporting • Have a sophisticated narrative • Require travel by the reporter • Have sound that does not involve phone tape • Be rich in a variety of sounds demonstrative or supportive of the story.” Level 2. $500 plus travel reimbursement up to $100 “Involve multiple interviews • Involve interviews conducted where the interviewee is carrying on activities relevant to the story • Involve sound, scenes, and advanced radio storytelling techniques • Involve reporter having good prior knowledge of subject matter” BTW: Full 26 min Documentary $1000 for veteran producers to do a full documentary edition. An exclusive is not necessary but air dates need to be...

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Call for Pitches: April 14, 2016

We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. See list below. If you feel you have a story that fits or you have a new idea, please let us know! We’re also always interested in pitches on any of our ongoing beats: prisons, poverty, corporations’ undue influence, reproductive health, climate change and the environment. We’re still looking for reporters who are themselves immigrants for our Immigrants and Elections miniseries–per that recent call for pitches. **NewsFlash — We’ve gotten a non-profit subsidized license to try out Hearken software. We’re stoked to have our freelance producers and reporters experiment in using it with us. See http://www.wearehearken.com/ and if your story would benefit from seeking audience input upstream, tell us about that. Incarceration Issues: We’re looking for stories detailing the effects of the prison systems on children and families, delving into life after incarceration, and stories examining sentence reduction reforms at the state level. For instance in California, Prop 47 passed in fall 2014. It reduces drug possession and five other felonies to misdemeanors. Are other states making changes similar to California’s Prop 47 ? What have been the preliminary results in California and what of the backlash by those opposed to the sentencing reform? Climate Change: “Climate Resilience” and “Social Cohesion” are terms used by environmental justice advocates and academics to mean various things. We want sound-rich stories that explore these terms in practice. It could be a local clean energy project, local economies. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive? How are low-income communities, expected to be hit hardest by climate change developing ways now to cope “later?” How are people of color led organizations and networks particularly exploring the justice angle in “climate justice?” We’re looking for stories that break out of the gloom and doom, wonk-talk or science-load, and instead give a glimpse of people coming together to take steps now.   Pitch us stories about various bottom-up and grassroots organizing methods and tactics. Perhaps a profile of someone who was either uninterested or overwhelmed and depressed about the crisis but is now engaged. How did that personal and political transformation take place? Guns: We’re looking for stories that bring new perspectives on guns, gun violence, mass shootings, and the ways in which they affect women and men differently. These could be personal stories. They could also be more investigative or explanatory pieces. We’d also welcome other pitches related to guns, maybe a look at one of several states’ legislation to allow or ban concealed carry on college campuses. Transgender: There is an organized backlash running astride transgender political movements. More than a dozen states have introduced...

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Call for Pitches: Immigration and Elections
Jan27

Call for Pitches: Immigration and Elections

We want your pitches! Making Contact is assembling a team of freelance journalists to  examine how immigrants in the U.S. participate in politics and are responding to the 2016 elections. Two freelancers have already joined the project. Their work will specifically examine issues Latino/a communities are confronting in the upcoming elections. We’re looking for character-driven stories that focus on how other immigrant communities engage in U.S. politics. Here are some themes we’re interested in exploring:   What interest is there in running for elected office in the U.S. and what are the barriers? What impact will new voter ID laws have on voter turnout? What factors contribute to disparities in electoral participation within different communities? What other ways are communities organizing to influence politics locally and/or nationally?   How is campaign financing influencing immigration rhetoric and policies?   Got an idea, let us know! Specifications Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 120 radio stations in the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.   Amplifying voices and perspectives rarely heard in mainstream media, Making Contact focuses on the human realities of politics and the connections between local and global events, emphasizing positive and creative ways to solve problems. We’re interested in pitches for sound-rich segments of about 7 minutes.  For these special segments by reporters who have a history of covering immigrant communities, we will pay $700. As with any pitches you send us, please check out our show and read our guidelines before you pitch. http://www.radioproject.org/production/submission-guidelines/ Consider the following. Does the story: Link grassroots issues and human realities to national or international trends? Give listeners a historical, political, or social context of major national and international events? Shed light on social and economic inequities? Explore any alternatives or solutions? Send pitches to pitches@radioproject.org. Please be detailed but succinct, and include a description of your idea, narrative/story arc, interview subjects, scenes, and sounds/ambi. If you’re pitching to us for the first time, please include a brief bio and relevant audio clips. We look forward to hearing from you! Laura Flynn and Jasmín López Making Contact Producers...

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Call for Pitches: Guns, Coffee, Long-term Care & Deepwater Horizon
Oct27

Call for Pitches: Guns, Coffee, Long-term Care & Deepwater Horizon

We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. If you feel you have a story that fits or a new idea, please let us know! We’re also always interested in pitches on any of our regular beats: prisons, poverty, corporations’ undue influence, reproductive health, climate change and the environment. Currently we’re seeking pitches on these themes: Guns We’re looking for stories that bring new perspectives on guns and gun violence. These could be personal stories, for example, you could focus on an ex-NRA member who now opposes guns, or a 60s radical who still advocates their use. They could also be more investigative or explanatory pieces. Perhaps a look at ALEC’s involvement in crafting gun policies or a look at the international arms trade. We’d also welcome other pitches related to guns, maybe the economics of gun manufacturing or creative community responses to gun violence. Coffee Shop Workers Starbucks workers are in the news for attempting to form their own union. We’re looking for a report on how workers in coffee shops are organizing for wage increases or better working conditions. The State of Long-term Caregiving By 2030 the number of senior citizens is expected to double to 72.1 million. As more seniors move into older age brackets the demand for a younger generation of workers and family members to help with day to day life will grow. We’re looking for stories that have a fresh perspective on providing long-term care to seniors and persons with disabilities. Stories that explore the quality of care, conditions in the workplace, the effect on care recipients and givers, and the availability of supportive services in a community or lack thereof. What are the race/class/gender dimensions of people in this workforce? We’d also be interested in stories from the perspective of elders who are inventing new senior care arrangements based on communal models and multigenerational living arrangements. Five Years after Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill Considered the worst in U.S. history, back in 2010 oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. Five years later, what are the effects of the estimated 176 million gallons of oil that spewed into the Gulf? Has BP really taken responsibility, and what has happened since? We are also interested in stories about BP in other parts of the world. What is this company’s global environmental legacy? Where are other communities battling this particular oil giant? How has BP worked to regain their public reputation since 2010 (this might be a story about their PR effort). Specifications Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 130 radio stations in the USA, Canada, Australia. Amplifying voices and perspectives rarely...

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Call for Radio Pitches: Fossil Fuels, Squatters, Minimum Wage, Women’s Bodies and Voting
Aug11

Call for Radio Pitches: Fossil Fuels, Squatters, Minimum Wage, Women’s Bodies and Voting

We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. If you feel you have a story that fits or a new idea, please let us know! We’re also always interested in pitches on any of our regular beats: prisons, poverty, climate change, reproductive health, and the environment. Divestment from Fossil Fuels We’re looking for stories about students putting pressure on colleges and universities to cut financial ties with the oil and gas industry; as well as other government bodies and private organizations making similar choices. We’re looking for lively pieces that explain the complicated financial issues at stake. We’d also be interested in personal stories about students or staff involved in these campaigns. Squatters This show looks at how squatters around the world continue to maintain their delicate existence, while (often unintentionally) challenging commonly held notions about property ownership, community, and the human right to a home. Most American’s image of squatters that we might be familiar with – punks, semi ‘homeless’ folks in abandoned buildings. Some even choose it as a lifestyle.  But that stereotype blinds us to other ways of seeing people living  on land/property without paying for it.  How squatters are seen by society varies widely by region. We are looking for several first person narratives, with squatters in different countries around the world, squatting for different purposes. Some possibilities include: -The Philippines,  where “vote-conscious politicians and the police have been reluctant to push out squatters, who register in large numbers to vote.” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/world/asia/land-disputes-slow-recovery-in-philippines.html -Venezuela (-Torre David, the “world’s tallest squat” in Caracas.) -Kenya,  Where the Constitution recognises the right of former hunter-gatherers to their ancestral forest lands http://allafrica.com/stories/201401150580.html?page=4 -Denmark  (Christiana) -Berlin, where seniors squatted in a community center to avoid eviction. -MST landless workers movement in Brazil The last several years has also seen occupations of foreclosed or other unoccupied homes throughout the US and Europe—technically these people are ‘squatting’ too, but has this movement changed public perceptions of squatters— something besides the“dirty punk” image? Low Wage Workers Movement/Minimum Wage Over the past year or so, we’ve been watching workers at Wal-mart, fast food chains and elsewhere begin to stand up for higher wages, and change public perception of who they are and what they deserve. At the same time, cities are debating and instituting) minimum wage increases of up to $15/hour. We’d like unique approaches to this show–not just a profile of a campaign to raise the minimum wage in your local town…Perhaps a profile of a particular organizer…A large company that voluntarily raised wages when workers asked…An especially strange coalition of supporters for higher wages. We know this story has been covered elsewhere,...

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