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radio stories and voices to take action

Submission Guidelines

Grassroots groups – see How to Suggest a Story

Pitching a story

Write a one or two paragraph description of idea, including potential interviewees. If you haven’t submitted work to Making Contact before, send links or mail samples of your work. Making Contact is not a news program; it delves deeper into the economic, social, and political issues underlying the news headlines.

Stories should avoid time-dating and should be relevant three to six months after broadcast: we distribute Making Contact to community groups and educators, and some radio stations use our website archives to fill holes in their broadcast schedules. Before pitching a story, be familiar with the mission of National Radio Project.

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?

Recording Guidelines

  • Use a professional microphone and recording device
  • Clearly label recordings and accompanying material
  • No audible edits; avoid excessive internal editing
  • Narration should be conversational, not glossy or heroic
  • Making Contact adheres to the highest technical standards for audio, including:
    • Recording levels must be precise: no over-modulation or off-mic recordings.
    • Sound elements and/or ambience tracks must have at least one minute of uninterrupted sound.
    • Please see Recording Tips for more guidance.

Editorial Process

  • Get story pre-approval, edit deadline, and final deadline from Producers
  • Submit anchor intro, script, and actualities (include phone number and mailing address on script)
  • Discuss any changes or re-writes with Senior Producer
  • Record and edit narration
  • Submit final edit, script, and contact information for guests
  • Final mix conducted at the National Radio Project unless other arrangements are made

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 discussed.

Other lengths, terms discussed.

We accept unedited recordings of interviews, speeches and events. Rates vary.

Submit pitches by email or mail to pitches@radioproject.org.