The team at Latino USA is happy to let you know that as of September 6th, we will be expanding to a new one-hour weekly format! As part of the expansion, the staff has been working hard to build a new sound, a new brand, and better coverage of recurring topics.
The show in general will still focus on Latino issues and the concerns of people of color and other minorities, including immigration, arts/music/culture, questions of identity, and life in cities (particularly those with large or growing Latino populations). So keep those pitches coming!
However, we're also trying to switch up and improve the sound of these pieces, whether they're interviews, produced pieces, or postcard-esque bits of sound. Key to what we really want:
• LOTS of ambi, which gives listeners a strong sense of place. Location, location, location.
• Stories that get right to the tape (rather than reading), especially at the top, with fun or surprising bits dropped in to keep a listener hooked.
• Idiosyncratic characters, sometimes with unique ways of speaking.
• Stories where the personal angle meets the facts.
We're also planning out a certain number of shows per year (exactly how many is TBD) based on a theme. They're meant to be taken both literally (we're planning an update on closings of Chicago schools for our "Back to School" show) and figuratively (for that same show, we're also looking back at what the LUSA staff has been doing this summer). Some of these are scheduled, some aren't, but the sooner you get in pitches to us, the better we can work them to fit with the other stories involved in a theme show. Here's our current list:
• Back to School (September 6th)
• Neighbors (September 20th)
• Death (November 1, for Dia de los Muertos)
• Christmas (December 20th)
• Justify My Love (February 14th, Valentines Day)
• Money, Money, Money
• Larger Than Life
• Have Faith
• '73, '83, '93 (as in 1973, 1983, 1993)
Finally, we're looking for outside contributors to help us with several series:
• BOCADITO: A little morsel of news. These segments are designed to be lighthearted, fun, and short, often appearing at the end of a show.
• CLASS OF 2030: 1/4 of current kindergartners are Latin@. This is our education series on anything related to K-12 coverage, trying to capture an image of this growing population.
• BY THE NUMBERS: Anything related to polls and percentages, mostly (but not exclusively) demographics-related, characterized by one startling figure (#) or two juxtaposing ones.
• ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDHIP: Stories about Latinos who are restoring or protecting their ecosystem – whether it’s an urban, suburban or rural environment. We’re interested in stories that reach communities of color, especially youth.
• OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Stories of people developing teamwork and confidence, surmounting fear and showing leadership through an adventure activity.
To pitch Latino USA, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking forward to hearing from you.
A.C. Valdez & Leda Hartman