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

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Header3We’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 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, so we’d like to do it with a focus on the grassroots and the ideas at stake, not just the numbers and votes.

The Female Body as a Tool for Change

We have already commissioned a piece on the Ukranian-based group known as Femen, groups of women who cover their exposed breasts with calls to end patriarchy. Theres no shortage of controversy about what constitutes an ethical and effective use of women’s bodies to advance social change. Who controls the imagery? Does it do more damage than good?  Is it feminist? Does it need to be?  We are interested in stories that use real examples to explore these questions–which may not have any clear answers or consensus.

***Note: we get occasional pitches about feminist or other forms of pornography. Feel free to pitch these for this show, but they must contain a wide variety of perspectives and views. Porn is such a complex issue in itself,  we might just wait and do a separate show on it at some future time.

Voting Rights

In 2013, the Supreme Court eliminated provisions in the Voting Rights Act designed  to protect voters from intimidation and disenfranchisement tactics. The ruling lifted restrictions on nine states that now allow them to change their election laws without advance federal approval. These are jurisdictions that have had a history of enacting racially biased election practices. What are the implications of lifting these restrictions? What is happening in jurisdictions previously under federal oversight? Are we seeing any questionable voting practices being pushed? What’s protections do voters have now? We are looking for first person accounts of voter disenfranchisement.

Specifications

Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 140 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.

This call for pitches is for segments of about 8 minutes(unless otherwise noted), and we generally pay $450 per story. but we also occasionally take longer pieces (12 or 26 minutes).

As with any pitches you send us, please check out our show and read our guidelines before you pitch. https://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, Jasmin Lopez, Andrew Stelzer & George Lavender

Making Contact producers

 

 

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