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New Rates! Call for Pitches July 2016

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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 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. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive? How are low-income communities of color, expected to be hit hardest by climate change developing ways now to cope “later?” Unequal impacts of climate change on women?

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 previously uninterested or overwhelmed and depressed about the crisis but is now engaged in this activism. How did that personal and political transformation take place?

In addition to the above, we’re always interested in pitches on any of our ongoing beats: prisons, poverty, reproductive health, climate change and environmental justice.


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 with an emphasis on creative ways to solve problems.  We’re interested in pitches for sound-rich segments of approx. 7 minutes. 

As with any pitches you send us, please check out our show and read our guidelines before you pitch. 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?

We’re trying out new rates!

Level 1. $800 plus travel reimbursement up to $100Involve 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 $100Involve 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

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.

Send pitches to 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!

— Monica Lopez, RJ Lozada, Marie Choi

Author: Radio Project

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