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Looking Back, Moving Forward: 2013 Year in Review


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Making Contact’s media mission is to give voice to those who don’t usually make it on to the airwaves.

We look back on how we did in 2013 and bring you up to date on our most compelling and resonating stories of the year.

From pregnant women in prison who’ve been mistreated; to the tomato fields of Florida, where the power of community radio helps workers take action. Then out west, to a national forest in California, where wildfires are raising questions about fire management techniques. We’ll also get updates on where those stories stand now.

  • Producer/Host: Nancy López
  • Producers: George Lavender, Andrew Stelzer
  • Contributing Producers: Lisa Bartfai, Jen Chien

How Far Have We Come? Justice for Female Inmates in 2013


“Under Arrest” photo by Flickr user Keith Allison (cc)

Up until fairly recently, the public knew very little about what happens to a woman when she lands in jail and is pregnant. What prenatal services does she have access to? How well is she being treated? Where does she go to deliver her baby? Back in March, in our program Our Stories, Our Bodies: Reproductive Health Behind Bars, we explored these questions, and what we found was troubling – stories of pregnant women who were shackled to their beds and others who were sterilized without their informed consent. We’ll also get an update on where these stories stand now. Producers Lisa Bartfai and Jen Chien have more.



Communities Gain Access to Low Power Radio

Image by flickr user Internet News Network (cc)

Image by flickr user Internet News Network (cc)

In August we brought you one of our most popular shows of the year: Low Power (Radio) to the People. In October, the Federal Communications Commission was scheduled to open a two week window in which people could apply to create their own low power radio station. It’s been more than a decade since the last opportunity and communities across the country were excited about the chance to build a local radio station from scratch. Before we learn how that application window actually played out, let’s first hear this clip, where our producer, Andrew Stelzer visits one group that uses the power of community radio to organize.


  • Domingo Jacinto & Rolando Salas, WCIW DJ’s
  • Cam Tu Nguyen,Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association community organizer
  • Brandy Doyle, Prometheus Radio Project Policy Director
  • Autumn Labbe-Renault, Davis Media Access Executive Director
  • Jeff Shaw, Davis Media Access Production Manager
  • Roots & Emmett Brady, KDRT Programmers
  • Albert Sykes. Young People’s Project Director of Policy and Advocacy
  • Tracy Rosenberg, Common Frequency Board member
  • John Friedman,Southern Development Foundation President


Large Wildfires Jumpstart Debate on Fire Management Techniques

Image by Flickr user  Striking Photography by Bo Insogna (cc)

Image by Flickr user Striking Photography by Bo Insogna (cc)

A topic that we covered more than a year ago, but was just as relevant in 2013 is fire, more specifically wildfires. When we aired our show, The Burning Issue: America’s War on Fire, over 50,000 wildfires had burnt millions of acres of land across the country. Efforts to stop these fires were costly. And after talking to fire experts and to those standing in the frontlines, producer George Lavender discovered that suppressing wildfires, in the long run, is actually more harmful than one would expect, harmful to the environment, to firefighters, to communities, and to a state’s budget. Before we get an update on where the story stands now, here’s a clip from our show laying out just how the U.S. Forest Service’s strategy of suppressing wildfires came to be in the first place.


  • Lorena Gorbett, Mountain Maidu tribal member
  • Debbie Miley, National Wildfire Suppression Association executive director
  • Chuck Striplen, environmental scientist
  • Tom Tidwell, National Forest Service chief
  • Carmen Moon, The Natives crew boss
  • Darryl Stockdale, aviation contractor
  • Timothy Ingalsbee, Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology (FUSEE) co-founder
  • Brent Johnson, National Parks botanist
  • Valentine Lopez, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band chair
  • Howard Hunter, Chips fire information officer
  • Scott Stephens, UC Berkeley associate professor of fire science


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