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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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BP Five Years Later: Deepwater Horizon and the Cost of Oil

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, not everyone is “back to normal”. On this edition, we follow BP’s trail from the Bayous of Louisiana to the fine art galleries of London. Featuring: Antonia Juhasz, investigative Journalist Monique Verdin & Beau Verdin, Houma tribe members David Gauthe, community organizer Thomas DarDar, United Houma Nation Chief Mark Miller, Southern Utah University History professor Mel Evans, author of Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts  Host: Andrew Stelzer Contributing Producers: Anna Simonton SEGMENTS Houma Tribe Fights for their Existence 5 Years After BP Reporter Anna Simonton takes us down to Southern Louisiana, where the Houma people have been battling BP–and the entire oil industry–for decades, as they struggle to maintain their community’s very existence. Antonia Juhasz on BP and the Gulf, 5 years After Deepwater Horizon We speak with author, analyst, and oil industry expert Antonia Juhasz. She’s been following BP since even before the Deepwater Horizon spill, going back to her 2008 book, “The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry and What We Must Do to Stop It.” Keeping Big Oil out of Big Art We go to BP’s corporate hometown, London England. For the past decade, going back even before the gulf coast spill, a coalition of artists has been subverting the oil giant’s efforts to greenwash its reputation through sponsorship of the art world, and specifically, the Tate, one of the most highly regarded art-institutions in the world. More information: Liberate Tate Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts by Mel Evans Oil and the Arts Antonia Juhasz United Houma Nation My Louisiana Love BP Global-Gulf of Mexico Restoration You & I Films 10 Reasons Why BP Got Off and Offshore Oil Drilling Just Got More Dangerous The politics of energy: Oil and gas The Great Invisible (movie trailer) Pretty Slick  (movie trailer) The Dilbit...


Idle No More

In the winter of 2012, flash mob round dances, demonstrations, hunger strikes, and blockades swept Canada. What began as a protest against new laws seen as curtailing environmental protections and infringing indigenous sovereignty,, quickly grew into a movement for indigenous rights and environmental justice. On this edition, Sylvia McAdam, one of the founders of Idle No More, tells the story of the movement.


Women Rising #22: International Anti-Nuclear Activists

With nuclear power back on the agenda, three prominent female activists tell their stories: Kaori Izumi was part of the grassroots campaign to shutdown Japan’s nuclear power plants, after the Fukushima disaster. Winona LaDuke, has spent much of her life working to oppose uranium mining on indigenous land. And Alice Slater is part of a global initiative to ban nuclear weapons. On this edition, is the anti-nuclear movement on the rise? This is a special collaboration with Lynn Feinerman and Crown Sephira Productions.


Not In Our Backyard: Fighting Pollution in Richmond, California

Richmond, California is one of the lowest-income communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s also one of the most toxic. On this edition, we’ll hear how community activists in this heavily polluted area are coming together to fight for environmental justice.

Special thanks to Richmond Confidential, a project of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley


Poisoned Water, Fossil Fuels

The endless search for fossil fuels is polluting our waterways, and our water supplies. The fight to protect clean drinking water is motivating Americans to take action. But with regulatory agencies in the pocket of industrial polluters, will it be enough and will it be too late?


Farming Underwater: Steve Mello’s Story

Farmer Steve Mello has put down roots in “The Delta” in central California. But climate change is threatening the levees which protect Delta farms. Can we defend our farms from the impacts coming with climate change?


Looking Back, Moving Forward: 2011 Year in Review

A look back at some of the most important issues of 2011: Attacks on organized labor, the Egyptian revolution, and the struggle to address climate change. We’ll hear highlights from some of our best programs of the year, and get updates on where those stories stand now.


Bees: The Threatened Link in Food Security

Honey bees help pollinate 1 in every 3 bites we eat. But they’re fighting to survive, in a world filled with pesticides and parasites. We’ll learn about colony collapse disorder and hear from beekeepers, researchers, and gardeners who are trying to protect the honey bee.


Christian Parenti: Unstable Climate, Unstable People

Journalist Christian Parenti speaks about his new book, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence. He connects the effects of climate change to the increasing number of civil wars, ethnic violence, criminality and failed states in Kenya, Brazil and India, among others.