call for pitches – Election Advertising stories

Hey folks. See the following message from the folks at Making Contact. They need your election advertising story pitches ASAP. -Mia



We are planning a show to air beginning the day after the election.(November 7th)  Since we produce our programs in advance, it won’t be about the results.  Instead we want to focus on the election advertising industry—and hopefully from some angles that aren’t usually explored. 


Underlying the entire show is the premise that Americans do not like the current state of election advertising—the frequency of TV ads, the number of flyers they get in the mail, never ending pop-ups online, etc.  So we are looking for pitches for sound-rich stories (generally 6-8 minutes in length) that get beyond the simple 'Enough, already!' sentiment, to look at why these ads might be bad for the nation as whole, and what might be done about it.  Some possible angles we are interested are:


-the advertising industry.  How many people are employed in creating and disseminating ads?—From the script writers all the way down to the print shops that make the flyers and yard signs.  Could this be considered a ‘jobs engine’?  And if so, is this an economic boost that Americans would much rather be without?  Perhaps we could hear voices of people whose work depends on this—but maybe they don’t support what they are participating in?


-are the ads even the point? What about media coverage of the ads which, arguably generates even more free press.  Or wanting to be written about as ‘out-spending’ ones opponent, making one candidate seem like they are in the lead.  This piece is veering into territory that has been covered quite a bit elsewhere (do ads actually convince voters?). So we would really want unique angles and voices.


-A look at other countries that limit the length of the campaign season.  Some also have ‘blackout’ days right before the election.  How does this work?  Do people like it? Does a restricted campaign/advertising season benefit the democratic process or the tone of the campaign?


-another ‘inside the ad industry’ angle to think about—a quote from Noam Chomsky:

Elections are run by the public relations industry. Its primary task is commercial advertising, which is designed to undermine markets by creating uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices – the exact opposite of how markets are supposed to work, but certainly familiar to anyone who has watched television.

It’s only natural that when enlisted to run elections, the industry would adopt the same procedures in the interests of the paymasters, who certainly don’t want to see informed citizens making rational choices.”

-can any of these ideas be connected to voter suppression efforts?  We are open to other ideas as well


We pay $250-300 per story, depending on the producer’s experience. As with any pitches you send us, please check out our show and read our guidelines before you pitch. 

Especially important:

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?

Please send pitches ASAP to




Andrew Stelzer & George Lavender

Making Contact producers

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