IWMF offers three $20K grants to women entrepreneurs in digital media, deadline March 2

The International Women's Media Foundation is offering three $20K grants to women-run digital media startups. Application deadline March 2. Details below. -Mia


Apply here!   

Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital Media Frontier: Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of the grant?

The Women Entrepreneurs in the Digital News Frontier grant program is designed to diversify the emerging digital news media landscape by expanding the voice and role of women entrepreneurs.  In addition to seed funding, grantees will receive pro-bono coaching, and will participate in a monthly call series featuring leading entrepreneurs and digital news media experts.


2. What is the award amount, and how is it funded?

The IWMF will award three $20,000 grants to women journalists who aspire to be digital news media entrepreneurs.  This initiative is made possible with generous support from the Ford Foundation.

3. What are the application criteria? 

Applicants must be U.S.-based women journalists (full-time, part-time or freelance women news media professionals are eligible).  

Applicants must propose a new digital news media enterprise that has not yet launched – and that will not launch before the IWMF announces the winners in April, 2012 – that uses digital media in innovative ways to deliver the news.

Applicants must include a business plan summary that demonstrates sustainability after initial funding has ended.

Applicants must demonstrate how their project advances women in the field of news media.

Personal blogs and documentary projects will not be considered.

4. What is the application and selection timeline?

Applications will be accepted from January 31 – March 2, 2012 (deadline is midnight EST).  Late applications will not be accepted.  Winners will be notified in April 2012.

5. How do I apply?

Click here to access the application form.  Please note that you must complete all required fields (denoted by red asterisks) to successfully submit your application.  There is no option to save an incomplete application and return to it later, or to review a completed application after it has been submitted, so applicants are strongly advised to review the application questions below and prepare and save their responses in a separate document for their records.  


6. What are the application questions?

Succinctly describe your background in journalism, including career highlights.

What is the name of your proposed digital news media concept?  

What is your concept for a digital news media enterprise?  

What makes your proposed digital news media enterprise innovative? What unique need does it address?  

How will your digital news media enterprise further the role of women in news media? 

What benchmarks will you use to measure the success of your digital news media enterprise within the first year of launching it?  

How many people will be involved in your digital news media enterprise, and in what capacity?  Please list any team members with a brief summary of their qualifications.

What business partnerships, if any, will you pursue?   

What type of business or other training have you had that will contribute to your ability to successfully launch and sustain your proposed digital news media enterprise?  

IWMF's grantees receive pro-bono coaching as a component of this program.  What specific topics would be most valuable to your development as an entrepreneur? 

What revenue generation strategies do you plan to put in place to ensure that your digital news media enterprise is financially sustainable?  Please include any funding you have already secured for this enterprise.

If relevant, include an assessment of your competition.

If you have developed a business plan for your proposed digital news media enterprise, please include a summary here.

How would a $20,000 grant from the IWMF impact you as a woman entrepreneur in the digital news frontier?

Provide three professional references.  Include reference name, title, organization, primary phone number, and email.

7. How will I be notified of my application status?

Due to the high volume of applications received, only finalists will be contacted.

8. Who can I contact if I am having difficulty submitting an application?

Please email newmediagrants[at]iwmf.org with any questions related to the application, including difficulty submitting an application.

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Meet Radio Ambulante

Hi folks. I've been following the early days of Radio Ambulante with great interest and I'm happy to forward along this note from Senior Producer and long-time FC member Martina Castro. This promises to be a very exciting program – and they will be paying freelancers for content! Details follow.



Introducing Radio Ambulante


Hi! Meet Radio Ambulante, a monthly Spanish-language radio program headed up by the novelist Daniel Alarcon and a team of talented bilingual producers. We want to bring you stories from around Latin America and the U.S., told in the first person. Think This American Life, in Spanish.

We plan to launch later this year, with a monthly podcast available for streaming and downloading from our website. We’ve already produced three episodes. (You can listen to a sample here). These piece include an emotional story about the fall of the legendary Argentine soccer team, River Plate; a piece about migrating from Europe back to South America; and a story about one boy’s trials upon arriving to the U.S., and being sent straight to the belly of the beast: the high school cafeteria.

We hope you like what you hear and will consider donating to our Kickstarter page. You can also spread the word by posting that link to Facebook or Twitter! This is really important, because to move forward, we need to raise at least $40,000 by March 25th. This seed money will help us roll out our first three episodes and secure long-term funding.    

Why Spanish?

First, we want to bring the kind of pioneering storytelling heard on This American LifeSnap Judgment, and Radiolab to a new audience, including the 50 million U.S. Latinos. In time, we will be creating partnerships with radio stations in Latin America and in the U.S. to reach the broadest possible Spanish-speaking audience.  Second, we want to give Latin Americans a chance to tell their own stories, in their own language. We feel this is one way to help broaden the dialogue surrounding Latinos and immigrants in general. To this end, we plan to create bilingual editions of our stories.


Thank you! 

Radio Ambulante


http://radioambulante.org/english/index.html (English)

http://radioambulante.org/index.html (Spanish)



In addition to our team, Radio Ambulante's advisory board includes writers/producers Jay Allison, Ricardo Corredor Cure, Katie Davis, Dave Eggers, Francisco Goldman, Cynthia Gorney, Marianne McCune, Mario A. Murillo, John Rudolph, and Julio Villanueva Chang. KALW in San Francisco is Radio Ambulante's home station. The Pulitzer Center On Crisis Reporting serves as our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. In Latin America, Radio Ambulante  is collaborating with the Fundación de Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano in Colombia, and the magazines Etiqueta Negra in Lima, Perú, and Anfibia in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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Margaret Mead Film Festival call for submissions, final deadline May 16

The American Museum of Natural History has a film festival – who knew? Early deadline April 2, final deadline May 16. Details HERE and below.



The Margaret Mead Film Festival is held each November at the American Museum of Natural History. The Mead Festival was founded in honor of pioneering anthropologist Margaret Mead, one of the first anthropologists to recognize the significance of film for fieldwork. With Mead's innovative spirit in mind the Festival screens documentaries, experimental films, animation, and hybrid works that increase our understanding of the complexity and diversity of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.

In addition to our general screenings the Mead programs a series of curated side bars (topics to be announced), exhibits installation artworks, and celebrates the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award nominees.

The Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award recognizes documentary filmmakers who embody the spirit, energy, and innovation demonstrated by Margaret Mead in her research, fieldwork, films, and writings. The award is given to a filmmaker whose feature documentary offers a new perspective on a culture or community remote from the majority of our audiences' experience as well as displays artistic excellence and originality in storytelling technique. Films selected for the Margaret Mead Film Festival that are U.S., North American, or World Premieres are eligible for the Award. The award winner is selected by a jury of industry professionals. The 2011 jury was comprised of Darren Aronofsky (director), Liz Garbus (documentarian), Karen Cooper (director of Film Forum, NY), and Stanley Nelson (documentarian). This award has a cash prize.

2012 dates: November 15-18 at the American Museum of Natural History

Please look at our on line application for details about how to submit: http://www.amnh.org/programs/mead/submit/

Submit your film today.

Questions? Meadfest@amnh.org

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freelance filmmakers seek to share Office Space in Brooklyn

Hey folks. An FC reader in NYC is looking to share his office space in Brooklyn with 1-2 like-minded freelancers. Craigslist posting and details below.



We are 2 editors/filmmakers looking to share our space with 1 or 2 other freelancers (editors, photographers, graphic designers. . . anyone using a desk and a computer). We have tons of space and the studio is fully furnished with a conference table, a big comfy couch, a mini fridge, shelving/storage, and an HD PROJECTOR with surround sound (great for screenings). It’s a good place to bring clients or have a photo shoot. The 2 empty desks in the photos are the spots we’re looking to fill (obviously you could use your own desks) (also- if you’re 1 person looking for a bigger space for youself– you could take that whole wall for $750/m). As you can see from the pictures- we have dedicated about 200 sq ft as blank space– we use it for photo and video shoots, building things and it’s also the wall that we project onto.

Our building is right on the water next to Brooklyn Bridge park. 3 minutes from the F at York St. 8 minutes from the A, C at High St. Also really close to tons of restaurants, bars, great coffee or even China Town if you feel up for a Brooklyn Bridge stroll!

Heat and electric included. 24/7 access.

(and we are dog friendly)


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WBEZ’s Front and Center Literacy Series Call for Pitches, deadline Feb 29

Hey audio folks. WBEZ has just put out this call for pitches for a new series on literacy. FYI, all pitches should have stories connected to the Great Lakes Region: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Ontario, or Quebec. Details HERE and below. 


Front and Center: Literacy series

Call for Pitches – 2012

In 1990, then-President George H. W. Bush and the nation’s governors adopted the goal that all of America’s adults be literate by the year 2000. That goal was never met. Over 20 years later, literacy is still staggeringly low. In cities like Chicago and Detroit, it’s estimated nearly 50 percent of the adult population has trouble reading. And ironically, the last comprehensive and federally-funded assessment of adult literacy took place nearly a decade ago.

The issue is more important than ever in this changing economy. With a decline in manufacturing and a boom in technology, more jobs require strong reading and writing. And if you don’t have those skills, you may not earn a living wage.

The literacy series will examine the cost of low literacy and strategies to move forward. The series will air regionally in May of 2012.

We’re looking for pitches from station reporters and independent journalists throughout the region for radio stories, slide shows, photo essays, documentaries and other multi-platform components that can help us understand how important literacy is to our future and economy.

We imagine the literacy series as a richly-textured collection of special shows and compelling stories, including enterprise reports about the region’s literacy problems, as well as profiles and first-person narratives about the ways that reading and writing affects our lives.

Here are some statistics to help put the problem in context.

  • In Chicago, half a million adults can’t read, write, or speak English well enough to meet their own goals for education or employment

  • More than 60 % of all prison inmates are functionally illiterate

  • Experts estimate that nearly 40 % of adults in Chicago’s Lawndale community have less than a high school education and only 35% are employed

  • 54% of working age adults in extreme poverty have only a high school diploma or less

  • 84% of the need for English as a Second Language courses in Illinois is not being met

  • Over 40 million Americans age 16 and older have significant literacy needs.

  • 43% of people with the lowest literacy skills live in poverty

  • 70% of people with the lowest literacy skills have no full or part time job.

  • Workers who lack a high school diploma earn a mean monthly income of $452 compared to $1,829 for those with a college degree.

  • Misread or misunderstood prescription labels cause up to 7,000 deaths each year

  •  Low health literacy causes an additional $73 billion in health care costs

Among the questions we’re interested in answering are: How is federal education policy impacting literacy?

  • What’s the role of the library in affecting literacy?
  • How will changes in the GED change standards of literacy?
  • How will the Common Core initiative change the way we teach kids to read?
  • Has the quality of educational TV and/or textbooks affected kids reading experiences?
  • How has the economy affected family literacy, including bedtime reading?
  • What’s the cost of childhood literacy?
  • How does the brain work when we’re learning to read? How does that change as we age?

  • What sectors of the economy are most likely to get away with low literacy and why?

  • What’s the link between literacy and poverty?

  • How is the elderly population dealing with literacy problems?

  • How does literacy affect the deaf or disabled?

  • How is bilingualism affecting literacy?

  • How is the prison population dealing with concentrated low literacy?
  • How has slang, code-switching and vernacular changed the way we communicate?
  • How has word processing and diminished emphasis on penmanship affected literacy?
  • How has the internet changed the way we read?
  • How does low literacy affect your health and proper use of prescription drugs?
  • How is the adult literacy problem being addressed? What’s working? What’s not?
  • How is the literacy issue affecting the changing workforce?


What are the stories we should be telling in your community?

Our freelance rates range from $300 for a profile or audio postcard to $5000 for a half hour documentary with multi-media components.

You can pitch around these themes or propose your own.  We look forward to your submissions.  All pitches should include ideas for multi-platform treatments.

Pitches with literacy series pitch in the subject line should be submitted to:

Sally Eisele, managing editor


Aurora Aguilar, project editor


Deadline: Call for pitches closes February 29, 2012

*statistics come from Literacy Works Chicago, Literacy Chicago, Begin to Read, Heartland Alliance, National Institute for Literacy, White House Conference on Aging

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BBC Commissioning new docs about America by Americans, first deadline March 2

Interesting new partnership between the BBC and US-based indie radio supporters AIR and PRX (among others). Deadline for pitching your doc ideas is March 2. Details HERE and below.

Real America
The BBC Public Radio Partnership

The aim of the scheme is to give a chance to any radio producer working in the USA – independent and those working at public radio stations – to make a documentary for the BBC World Service.


Editorial Brief


We are looking for documentaries that will show our global audience of 40 million (including millions in the USA) an America they didn’t know existed. We want to hear stories that are unexpected, that only radio producers living in the USA could unearth. The stories could be obscure or could be staring us in the face but will say something about the USA of 2012. If a listener was to hear all 4 documentaries they would come away with a deep understanding of American society and the direction its traveling in. The brief is deliberately vague as we don’t want to be prescriptive – I simply have no idea what we will commission. Just be aware that it has to appeal to an audience that could be listening in Atlanta, Bristol, Cairo, Delhi, or Hong Kong.



We will commission 4 documentaries (single or series). These will be made by producers working in the USA. We want to find and encourage new talent.


Stage 1.  A call out for ideas – at this stage we only want one paragraph on the idea and one on your talents/experience. Closing date for Stage 1 – 02.03.2012 (12noon EST)  All ideas should be submitted to wsprp@bbc.co.uk  

Stage 2.  The short list. A shortlist of 20 or so ideas will be drawn up with the help of the BBC Public Radio Partnership Committee. The shortlisted candidates will then draw up a fully budgeted proposal.  BBC World Service staff will be at the end of the phone and email to advise producers on their ideas. Closing date for Stage 2 – 26.03.2012 (12noon EST)


Stage 3. The BBC Public Radio Partnership Committee will meet to identify the successful candidates. The BBC will have final say on the successful ideas. Meetings to be held during week beginning 2nd April 2012.  


The BBC Public Radio Partnership CommitteeJeremy Skeet (Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service, Chair); Heather Maclean (Head of Business Development, Americas & Australasia, BBC World Service); Sue Schardt (Executive Director, Association of Independents in Radio (AIR)); John Barth (Managing Director, PRX.org); Steve Edwards (Content Development Director, WBEZ); Sam Fleming (Managing Director of News and Programming, WBUR); John Decker (Director of Programming, KPBS).

Stage 4. Production. Each commissioned producer will come up with a production timetable.  If the producers are station based we would hope the station would help find an executive producer. If an independent producer is commissioned we will work with AIR to find an executive producer/mentor.

Stage 5. Broadcast. We will broadcast the documentaries on the World Service, and they would also be available to any Public Radio Station for broadcast. They will live online at www.bbcworldservice.com/documentaryarchive and prx.org (tbc).

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IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs Open for Submissions, deadlines March 9 and April 6

Hey first-time filmmakers. The Independent Filmmaker Project is taking submissions for their 2012 labs. Details HERE and below.


IFP Independent Filmmaker Labs Open for Submissions

Deadlines to Apply: March 9 (Documentary) / April 6 (Narrative)
IFP's Independent Filmmaker Labs are a year-long fellowship supporting

independent filmmakers when they need it most: through the completion,
marketing, and distribution of their first features. Lab submission is open
to all first-time documentary and narrative feature directors with films in

post-production. Structured in three week-long components held over the
year, the Labs offer personalized attention on post-production, audience
building, and distribution strategies in the digital age, followed by

continued support from IFP as the project premieres in the marketplace.

Recent Lab Project alumni now in theaters include Dee Rees' Pariah (Focus
Features), Alrick Brown's Kinyarwanda (AFFRM), and Victoria Mahoney's

Yelling to the Sky (MPI), being released this spring. Premieres at 2012
festivals have included An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Sundance),
Welcome to Pine Hill (Slamdance, Grand Jury Award), Una Noche (Berlin), and

The Light in Her Eyes and Smokin' Fish (IDFA 2011) – with more Lab alumni
set for upcoming festivals and broadcast. To apply or for more information,
please visit http://www.ifp.org/programs/labs . 

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seminar on Structuring the Character-Driven Documentary at the San Francisco Film Society, Feb 25-26

Hey folks. Veteran doc film editor Karen Everett is offering a seminar on Structuring the Character-Driven Documentary at the San Francisco Film Society, Feb. 25-26. Details HERE and below. -mia


Structuring the Character-Driven Documentary

Saturday–Sunday, February 25–26, 9:00am–5:00 pm
Ninth Street Independent Film Center

145 Ninth Street, SF
Instructor: Karen Everett
$190 SFFS member
$220 general

Acquisition executives from HBO, PBS and Sundance want story-driven films that deliver an engaging narrative. Whether you are a novice making your first nonfiction film or a seasoned veteran, this two-day seminar will reveal the essential narrative building blocks that will attract funders, entice television execs and keep viewers glued to the screen. Learn how to adapt screenwriting devices and solve structural problems so that your documentary will be as engaging as a narrative film.


Karen Everett
Documentary Story Consultant
Get "The Ultimate Guide to Structuring Your Documentary"


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Soup to Nuts documentary radio workshop, March 3-4, Berkeley

Hello friends and colleagues. The fabulous Claire Schoen is offering her Soup to Nuts radio documentary workshop March 3-4 in Berkeley, CA. It might be the last workshop for awhile, so jump in while you can! Details below.



Dear Radio People,


I am offering "Soup-to-Nuts," my weekend class on documentary radio in the San Francisco Bay Area on:

March 3 & 4, 2012.


If you are interested in attending, please let me know asap, as the class sometimes fills quickly.


1.) Email me to let me know you would like to sign up.

2.) I'll write back and let you know if there is still space. If so, I'll hold a place for you.

3.) Then please send me a check at your earliest convenience.

4.) Receiving your check will guarantee your spot. If you have to cancel after that I will return your check if I can fill your slot.

5.) A couple of weeks before March 3/4, I'll send out a Welcome Letter with logistical details and some suggestions for ways you might want to prepare for the weekend.


Checks can be written to:

Claire Schoen

Amount: $250

and mailed to:

1815 Grant Street, Berkeley, CA 94703


I’ve attached a pdf of the flier for this class.


AND… check out my website!


Under “Teaching” you can find feedback from previous “Soup-to-Nuts” students.

Under “Biography” you can find out more than you’d ever want to know about me.

Under “Productions” you can listen to the past 25 years of my audio work.


I hope you can join us in March.

Best, Claire Schoen


Claire Schoen Media







"From Soup to Nuts"

A 2-day intensive

on documentary radio production

offered in the San Francisco Bay Area


This seminar will be held March 3 and 4, 2012.

Each day's class will run from 10 am to 5:30 pm,

including 6 hours of class work, plus lunch and breaks.


It will be held at Claire’s studio in Berkeley, California

Class will be limited to 8 students.

The cost of the 2-day seminar is $250.

The Course:

Through lectures, group discussion, Q & A, written handouts, and lots of audio demos, this two-day class will explore the ins and outs of creating a long-form radio documentary. Designed to meet the needs of mid-level producers, this seminar will also be accessible to individuals who have little or no experience in radio production.


Compelling audio documentary incorporates a creative weave of elements including narration, interviews, music, vérité scenes, character portraits, dramatizations, performances, archival tape and ambience beds. Students learn how these elements serve to paint a picture in sound.


Emphasis will be put on the production process. To this end, the class will examine the steps of concept development, research, pre-production, recording techniques, interviewing, writing, organizing tape, scripting, editing and mixing required to create an audio documentary.


Most importantly, we will focus on the art of storytelling. We will discuss dramatic structure, taking the listener through introduction, development and resolution of a story. And we will explore how character development brings the listener to the heart of the story.


The Teacher:

Claire Schoen is a media producer, with a special focus on documentary radio. As a producer/director, she has created over 20 long-form radio documentaries and several documentary films, as well as numerous short works. As a sound designer she has recorded, edited and mixed sound for film, video, radio, webstory, museums and theater productions. Her radio documentaries have garnered numerous awards including NFCB Golden and Silver Reels, two Gracies, two Clarion awards, a PASS and a New York International Festival Silver. She has also shared in both a Peabody and a DuPont-Columbia.


Claire has taught documentary radio scriptwriting and production at numerous venues including U.C. Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, Third Coast Audio Festival Conferences and AIR's mentorship program.


To Register:

Contact Claire Schoen

cschoen@earthlink.net    510-540-5106     www.claireschoenmedia.com



pdf iconStoN’s Flier 2012 March.pdf

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Fellowships available for the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference, April 19-22, Atlanta, GA

Hey folks. The Association of Health Care Journalists has fellowships available for their upcoming conference. See below for details and a note about their ** Freelance PitchFest.**


The Association of Health Care Journalists is offering a number of fellowships to enable journalists to attend our annual conference, which will be in Atlanta in April.


We have fellowships available for journalists in Missouri, California, New York and Oregon, as well as fellowships for those covering health in rural areas and for journalists who cover beats other than health. We hope to announce one more fellowship in the coming days. More information and a fellowship application is available at http://www.healthjournalism.org/secondarypage-details.php?id=1009.


At the conference, award-winning reporters, medical experts and policy specialists will take part in sessions on medical research, public health, the business of health care and consumer health. The preliminary schedule is at http://www.healthjournalism.org/secondarypage-details.php?id=1010.


One highlight of our conference, especially for freelancers, is the Freelance PitchFest:

This gives freelancers an opportunity to sit down and discuss your ideas one-on-one with editors from some of the top magazines, newspapers and websites. In the coming weeks, we'll post information about the editors taking part. In March, you'll have the chance to sign up for quick appointments with the editors you're interested in working with. On Friday, April 20, writers will have a limited amount of time with each editor, so come prepared to sell your work. That means you need to arrive with specific pitches for the editors, as well as clips, resume, etc. This has been called AHCJ's version of “speed dating for writers” and we keep things moving to make many matches with editors and writers possible.


We are still getting commitments from editors to participate but for an idea of the caliber of publications that take part, see last year’s lineup: http://www.healthjournalism.org/secondarypage-details.php?id=931


I’m happy to answer any questions.


Thank you,


Pia Christensen

Managing Editor/Online Services

Association of Health Care Journalists





Have you seen Covering Health, AHCJ's blog?

Follow me on Twitter: AHCJ_Pia

"Like" us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/healthjournalists


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