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Immigrants & Elections Pt. 2: Barriers to the Ballot
Oct26

Immigrants & Elections Pt. 2: Barriers to the Ballot

Photo of Florita & Joseph Campbell at the Halo Halo Restaurant in Phoenix, AZ by contributing producer Valeria Fernández In the US, the right to vote is one of the country’s most cherished and hard-fought rights. But it doesn’t mean that everyone has equal access to the polls. In 2013 the Supreme Court struck down a key civil rights provision of the Voting Rights Act. This November will be the first presidential election in 50 years where voters will not have the full protection of the original law. In this second installment of Making Contact’s Immigrants and Elections series, we explore some of the barriers immigrants and other historically disenfranchised voters face in gaining access to the polls. Listen to our other episodes in our Immigrants and Elections series here. * Reporter Valeria Fernandez’s story was made possible with support from Making Contact and New America Media’s fellowship on voting rights. Part 2 Features: Nse Ufot, Executive Director of New Georgia Project Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director of Florida Immigrant Coalition Marco Ponce, active supporter of Proposition N Sandra Lee Fewer, San Francisco Unified School District Commissioner Matt Haney, President of the Board of Education of San Francisco Eric Mar, San Francisco County Supervisor Araceli Becerra, recently naturalized US citizen Leonardo Aromin, founder of the Filipino American Journal Samantha Pstross, Executive Director of Arizona Advocacy Network Vic Reid, civic engagement manager for Asian Pacific Community in Action.Host: Credits Host this week: Monica Lopez Contributing Producers: Valeria Fernández and Paulina Velasco Special thanks: Oyez Project for providing free online access to US Supreme Court audio recordings, Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library for access to their archives, and The Media Consortium for audio from their states’ briefing with Audio Recordist, Carson Riedel, The People’s Channel. Image Credits: “Florita & Joseph Campbell at the Halo Halo Restaurant in Phoenix, AZ” – Valeria Fernandez Music Credits: “Lifetrap”, Year of Glad; “Dents de fer”, FLIST!; “Motion”, Noah; “Surreal”, Ouri; “Future Life”, Ketsa YOUR SUPPORT MADE A DIFFERENCE:  Special thanks to all the individuals who contributed to our Beacon Crowdfunding campaign for our Immigrants and Elections miniseries. Thanks also to the Berwick-Degel Family foundation. More information The Oyez Project A Closer Look at Voter ID laws Across the US Jurisdictions Previously Covered by Section 5 The New Georgia Project Florida Immigrant Coalition Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library Feet in 2 Worlds As Trump Conjures the Voter Fraud Boogeyman, Voter Suppression is the Real Issue Asian American Voters Not Being Engaged in Ca.’s Ballot Initiative...

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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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Diversifying Radio with Disabled Voices
Apr04

Diversifying Radio with Disabled Voices

  Radio can be a familiar friend, source of knowledge, a marker of time and place. But as a cultural institution, what constitutes a “good voice” in radio reflects and transmits cultural norms and structures. When I started my Community Storytelling Radio Fellowship at Making Contact, I prepared by reading articles from Transom and AIR media about interviewing, storytelling, and production. I felt more intimidated as I read about advice on ‘how to do radio,’ especially since some parts were very physical (e.g., holding a microphone close to a person for a significant length of time). I wondered, “Where do disabled people like me fit in the radio community? Why don’t articles about diversity in radio ever mention people with disabilities?” Al Letson’s 2015 Transom manifesto explores the the default straight white male voice. It resonated with me immediately and I’d also add that the “default human being” on radio is able-bodied as well. Good Voices/Bad Voices By centering the default “good voice” of radio as one that is able-bodied, one that is pleasant, clear, articulate and devoid of any markers of disability, you erase disabled people, rendering them the Other (or in fancy terms the subaltern). Media and cultural studies scholar Dr. Bill Kirkpatrick wrote about the problematic nature of the invisibility of disabled voices and bodies in radio in a 2013 book chapter, “Voices Made for Print: Crip Voices”: … there is no shortage of self-evident reasons why non-disabled voices thoroughly dominate radio, not least of which is the commercial imperative: broadcasters want listeners to stay tuned, therefore they find speakers and speaking styles that audiences are willing to listen to, with voices that listeners can easily understand and find pleasing to the ear. While undoubtedly sensible as a matter of capitalist logic, however, we need to question the aesthetic reasoning at the root of this supposedly listener-centered approach to speaker selection as well as the idea that “pleasing to the ear” is somehow a sufficient explanation for the absence of disabled voices on the radio. We cannot begin to expand the range of permitted voices on radio without simultaneously undermining the ideologies of ability and disability that disqualify those voices in the first place. In the broader discussion of diversity in media, I see parts of myself included as a disabled woman of color. But more often than not disability is not included because many do not regard it as a culture. For radio, this is total bullshit. If you think about it, disabled voices are the missing instruments in this symphony that is public media. Letson stated in his Transom manifesto: Stories are told that...

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Making Contact’s dialogue on Women, Media and Community Activism
Mar15

Making Contact’s dialogue on Women, Media and Community Activism

Join us for a live recording session in San Francisco! On March 16th The Making Contact team is happy be partnering with the California Institute for Integral Studies for an evening of important discussion and public journalism. Race, police violence and criminal justice reform have been at the top of headlines nationwide with no signs of slowing as we move into the election season. Join us for a dialogue with two inspiring community organizers and media makers on the front lines, pushing for systematic change and providing accurate media portrayals of the activists, their struggles and their motivations. Cat Brooks of San Francisco’s Anti Police-Terror Project and Manolia Charlotin of The Media Consortium and who is working on our Making Contact’s special Immigration and Elections miniseries, will participate in a discussion on Black Lives Matter, community journalism social justice activism. Our Executive Director Lisa Rudman, will MC and we will be recording this discussion for broadcast on the air and on our website. March 16, 2016 7:00 pm California Institute of Integral Studies 1453 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103 Buy tickets Cat Brooks is an artivist and mother who’s spent her life working on many social justice issues. In 2009, Cat joined the fight for Oscar Grant and was instrumental in developing organizing and communications strategies and leading multiple demonstrations. In 2013, Cat co-founded the Anti Police-Terror Project whose mission is to eradicate police terror in communities of color. Manolia Charlotin is a multimedia journalist, strategist and the Director of Special Projects at The Media Consortium where she manages editorial collaborations among member outlets, spearheads #TMCinColor and curates independent media coverage of the movement for Black lives. Lisa Rudman is the Executive Director of Making Contact. She brings over 20 years of experience in production and management in community radio and public television. She serves on the coordinating committee of The Media Consortium and believes in “practicing journalism for...

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Call for Pitches: Immigration and Elections
Jan27

Call for Pitches: Immigration and Elections

We want your pitches! Making Contact is assembling a team of freelance journalists to  examine how immigrants in the U.S. participate in politics and are responding to the 2016 elections. Two freelancers have already joined the project. Their work will specifically examine issues Latino/a communities are confronting in the upcoming elections. We’re looking for character-driven stories that focus on how other immigrant communities engage in U.S. politics. Here are some themes we’re interested in exploring:   What interest is there in running for elected office in the U.S. and what are the barriers? What impact will new voter ID laws have on voter turnout? What factors contribute to disparities in electoral participation within different communities? What other ways are communities organizing to influence politics locally and/or nationally?   How is campaign financing influencing immigration rhetoric and policies?   Got an idea, let us know! Specifications 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, emphasizing positive and creative ways to solve problems. We’re interested in pitches for sound-rich segments of about 7 minutes.  For these special segments by reporters who have a history of covering immigrant communities, we will pay $700. 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 and Jasmín López Making Contact Producers...

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Making Contact team wins SPJ Excellence in Journalism Award!
Oct29

Making Contact team wins SPJ Excellence in Journalism Award!

Every year the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Awards recognize the best stories and most innovative projects from media outlets around the country. These awards are where some of the most celebrated names in journalism recognize the crucial, enlightening work being done by their peers. We’re excited to announce that a team from Making Contact has won a Feature Storytelling award from the SPJ Northern California Chapter for Deadly Divide, the enlightening, somber show on Migrant Deaths along the US/Mexico border.   CONGRATULATIONS Jasmin Lopez, George Lavender, Brandon Thibodeaux and Mitra Kaboli for their hard work! We think this radio documentary is a perfect example of Making Contact’s brand of sound rich, nuanced storytelling and coverage of underreported issues. Talented and determined Making Contact producer Jasmin Mara Lopez led this project and worked for six months researching, traveling and editing Deadly Divide amidst her contributions to other weekly Making Contact episodes. In August of 2014, Jasmin and photojournalist Brandon Thibodeaux journeyed to the desert ranch lands of Brooks County, Texas to introduce us to the human cost of U.S.border enforcement strategies. Jasmin’s radio documentary is accompanied by a moving set of images taken by Brandon, who has spent the last few years documenting life on both sides of the border. While reporting, Jasmin  got a taste of the intense heat and lack of landmarks in the harsh desert, only some of the challenges faced by people like Elias, a Honduran migrant and central voice who listeners get to know as he flees poverty and violence. Over 6,000 migrant deaths were recorded on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico between 1998 and 2013. The true number of deaths is likely higher, and thousands of families never hear from their loved ones again. Listeners follow a team as they collect the bodies of those who crossed the desert border, hear from a forensic scientist piecing together information about the lives of the deceased from piecing together their bones, and become inspired by Eduardo Canlaes, Director of the South Texas Human Rights Center as he delivers water to life-line spots that dot the parched landscape as he tries to spare the lives of those crossing. Making Contact producer George Lavender advised on script sequencing and provided script edits. Making Contact’s supporters chipped in donations for travel expenses. Jasmin engaged musician Diana Gameros for scoring, Juaquin Neault for voice overs, Sheerry Seegers for transcription and interwove poetry by MamaCoAtl Chantiko.   Listen to the show and watch the photo slideshow here....

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