Tools of the Trade (4/24): This is probably the most design-heavy episode we’ve ever done. We’re looking at the changing nature of work in American history, through the objects and technologies that shaped those changes (the office chair, the typewriter, the cubicle, etc. etc.). Got a “tool of the trade” (or a set of tools, technological systems, etc.) you think would fit this show? Be sure to tell us not only the history of the technology, but what it meant and how it changed the way Americans worked.
Speed! (5/08): How fast — and slow — has life moved in America? What big shifts in velocity did people witness in the 18th and 19th centuries? How did the new pace at which people and ideas move change the course of history? How have we measured speed, scientifically and culturally? We’re open to stories that look at the pace of life, the concept of speed and all of its cultural reference points (drugs, the Roadrunner, Speedos…?).
Infrastructure (5/22): On this show, we’ll explore how the physical foundations of life in America went from being highly visible to nearly invisible. Think burying power lines, air traffic control, alligators in sewers, tunnels, Internet cables, and more. We want your stories of building America from the ground up … only to put it ‘underground’ again.
Here’s a link to the pitch page on our web site, for info about what makes a good BackStory pitch: http://backstoryradio.org/producers/
BackStory is especially interested in freelance pieces that get out of the studio — that is, site-specific and sound-rich stories from around the country. Include what, if any, sources you would use in your story and how you would produce them. Give us an idea about what you imagine your piece would sound like (field tape, scoring, effects, readings, etc.). We’re open to non-narrated features, written essays, and reported pieces. Three to 10 minutes in length is ideal.
Email Associate Producer Kelly Jones at <khjones at virginia dot edu>, with “PITCH:” in your subject line. We’ll do our best to be in touch with you within a week of receiving your pitch. Thanks!