Category Archives: Audio/Radio

KALW’s City Visions Radio in need of a fill-in producer

Hey folks. City Visions Radio (part of KALW) is in need of a fill-in producer. Contact info below and details attached. Best, Mia


Well, we’re in need again as two producers are on maternity leave. We’re looking to bring on at least one more person. If you can help get this word out through your channels, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Brian Moran Senior Producer City Visions Radio 91.7 FM, KALW, San Francisco Cell: 323-309-8699

doc iconCity Visions Producer Announcement.doc

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Snap Judgment Calls for Stories!!

Hey guys. Some of you may have met Glynn at one of the happy hours. His show is looking for stories. Details below! -mia


Snap Judgment, winner of CPB’s Public Radio Talent Quest, launches April 2010, and is putting out a call for stories.

We’re looking for amazing stories. Quick. Distinctive Voice. Bobbing and weaving. Surprising ending. Raw. Urban sensibility. Intimate. Voyeuristic.

The “perfect” long form Snap Judgment story runs six to nine minutes.

Check out Episode ONE (Magic Doors) at . . .

Typically in Snap Judgment pieces, the narrator presents a high stakes choice early on – subtly daring listeners to put themselves in place of the protagonist. Snap Judgment heroes make choices with consequence. As the story unfolds we learn more about both the teller and the environment / context they operate.

We like stories that transport listeners to different worlds. We really like international stories, but equally dig stories that navigate ethnic or social-economic communities outside the scope of traditional media. (For example, we would love a story about a Tongan prince, but would also dig one from the perspective of a sister-wife in north Utah.)

While main characters are allowed to draw lessons from their experience, we leave the “judging” of the story to the audience. We don’t mind if overlapping narratives conflict in their conclusions. (One person could conclude that arranged marriages are evil, another could conclude they are great.)

Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story! We like lies and lying liars. Lies and exaggerations are often more important than some antiseptic recall of the facts. We want character. A snapshot of the person in the moment of their Snap Judgment.

The more fantastical, the better. Snap Judgment dances on the edge of credulity. Did you see someone fly? Fantastic. Picked up by a UFO? Even better. Got a fictional piece you think would work? Try us.

The Snap Judgment theme is important, but most important is the story. Good stories have decision points. Good characters suck listeners in. The teller should want to share their story. (Or be so compelling in their reluctance, that we identify with them.) Either way, we must be compelled to listen as they illuminate a hidden piece of the world.

We’re currently working through a few basic “themes” – BUT don’t let this limit your imaginings. If you have a good idea, let us know!

1) 5150 (Stories involving people who are a danger to to themselves or and others.)

2) Drop Everything (people who have abandoned their current lives in search of a new one).

3) Library Tales (stories in or involving the most innocuous place of all – the local public library . . .)

4) Superheros (stories of people who use their powers to shake things up . . . hopefully in tights!)

Interested producers should send a pitch, and a quick synopsis of the story. We will read each and every pitch (promise) and let you know whether we would like to move to the next level.

We are interested in both fully edited stories and raw interview tape (that show staff will cut into stories for the radio show and podcast).

For uncut interviews, interested producers/interviewers should send the name and one line bio of the storyteller they’d like to interview. Also include a quick synopsis of the Snap Judgment story being told. Flat rate for uncut interview tape: $125.

For more difficult pieces that require editing or multiple interviews, compensation is based on commissioned length: 3 minutes or less- $250; 3-7 minutes- $450, 7-11 minutes – $700. Only under rare circumstances are we looking for anything over 11 minutes. Special terms may be in effect for regular contributors. Final mix, sound design and music will be completed by Snap Judgment staff.

Write to us:

Thanks a million! We can’t WAIT to hear from you . .

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[Un]Observed seeks contributions

Hey folks. One of our own has started a very cool new project and she’s looking for contributors. Details below! -mia


The [Un]Observed, on-line radio magazine, is launching this month. It consists of interviews, more produced radio pieces, and sound pieces in and around art and culture (the culture part makes it a bit more broad). Over the years The [Un]Observed hopes to grow into a hub for interesting and engaging work that both reflects and is produced by the artistically inclined. Currently, The [Un]Observed has several contributors: Ben Adair, Douglas McGray, Aaron Ximm, Kara Oehler, Ann Heppermann, Jason Cady, Jeremiah Moore and Tania Ketenjian.

The [Un]Observed is seeking contributions! The idea for The [Un]Observed is that it be a play space for brilliant producers like you. Somewhere where you can place work that you are excited about, you really enjoyed producing or you love the way they turned out. Or even ones that are off the beaten path for you and you are in the midst of creating.

The piece can be as short as 60 seconds to an hour long, it can have aired before or it can be new, a work in progress, a collection of sounds, recordings of a family dinner, whatever you would like to get out there. The main thing is that the piece be about art or culture, or be artistically produced.

The [Un]Observed can be an archive for you as well where people can come to hear your work, amongst your peers and colleagues from around the world.

The magazine was conceived of by Tania Ketenjian who is seeking to expand the ways we can have access to interesting and engaging radio and sound works.

Currently The [Un]Observed is not in a position to compensate contributors but will do so as the site grows. That said, your contribution is invaluable and so appreciated.

To contribute, please send an e.mail to with CONTRIBUTION in the subject line.

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KALW news magazine launch

Hello freelancers. Unfortunately I missed the boat on this one (the launch was yesterday) but I hope you’ll check out the site regardless. KALW is doing some fantastic work in the Bay Area and they are VERY good to freelancers – lots of opportunity there. They are currently looking for community correspondents from various places around the Bay, so check out the below and contact “Zoe Corneli” if you have questions. Best, Mia 845-444-4034 (new cell)


Hi there,

I work with the news team at KALW Public Radio in San Francisco, and we are launching our new local digital news magazine today! I was hoping you could take a few minutes to check it out, and if you so desire, blog or tweet about it or post on Facebook before 7 p.m. tonight. (We’d like to try to coordinate so everyone is talking about it at the same time.)

Here’s a little background:

Since 2003, KALW News has expanded while other news organizations cut back. Now, combines our award-winning news and arts stories with blogs, photos, social media, interactivity, and mapping. We also feature the growing numbers of Bay Area hyper-local journalism outlets for you to check out, as well as a digest of mainstream local news sources. Visitors can submit their own content and use the collaborative “Fixipedia” tool to help generate solutions to issues in the news. The site really aims to capture the essence of what it is to live in the Bay Area. And, to do it better and more comprehensively, we need you! This is public interest media, and your interests matter to us.

If you have a moment to take a look and you like it — or even if you don’t

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TAL theme list

For those of you not on the AIR list, here are the upcoming themes for This American Life. -mia


Dear This American Life friends and contributors,

We’ve got a new round of themes-in-progress and we’re coming to you for story pitches, thoughts and suggestions for our upcoming shows.

How this process works: When you send in a story idea to me, I’ll respond with a generic email letting you know that I received your pitch and that I’ve read it. I promise. I read every pitch. (I won’t send you the auto response until I’ve read your pitch so expect a day or two delay sometimes to get that email.) If we think the pitch is right for us, or if we need more information from you, I’ll send you another email asking for more info on the story or letting you know we’d like to commission the story. But if you don’t hear back from us within two weeks, beyond the initial auto-reply email, it means the story just isn’t right for us or for the needs of that particular show. The idea of doing it this way is just to get through pitches and get back to everyone a little more quickly.

Like always, these themes are shows we’re actively pursuing right now but we’re always on the lookout for new stories or ideas. So if you’ve got a story that you think would work especially well for us but doesn’t fit a specific theme listed below, please send it along anyway.

Thanks so much for your pitches. All of us here are very appreciative.

Best, Julie (

CONTENTS UNKNOWN: Stories about guessing, fantasizing and projecting. For this show, we’re sort of running the gamut from the literal to the metaphorical. A literal “contents unknown” story is one we’re planning about people who bid blind on abandoned storage units up for auction. Most of the bidders have a pretty good idea what they’re doing (if you see any hint of a Christmas ornament in the unit, RUN AWAY) but aside from small clues, it’s a lot of guesswork and luck. A more metaphorical take on the theme is a story about a guy who completely loses his memory and essentially allows all of the people around him (family, friends, doctors, bureaucrats) to write his identity for him. We’re now looking for more stories about entering into something where all you really know are the faint outlines of the thing. Maybe entering into a relationship – either romantic or professional – where you really don’t know what you’re getting into? Or someone trying to trust something they’re not sure is true? Stories that head down the more literal route would be great, too. Maybe trying to track down the ingredients to something? Or facing a huge archive without knowing what’s inside? This show is coming up soon and, honestly, we’re feeling a little desperate so if you’ve got something that might be wedged into a “contents unknown” kind of theme, please send it our way.

PARENT TRAP: When a woman is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she writes a series of letters to her 16 year old daughter, to be delivered after her death on the daughter’s successive birthdays. From the time she is 17 until she turns 29, the daughter gets a letter in the mail – sent by her father, via FedEx – each year. The letters are beautiful, filled with encouragement and affirmations of love. They are also filled with plenty of upbeat words about the Mormon Church and moral advice. Moral advice that, over the years, starts to feel increasingly chafing to the daughter who is moving further away, socially, politically and spiritually, from the Church and her mother’s views. The daughter begins to feel like she is receiving letters written for a girl she no longer is but who her dead mother wishes her to be. For this show, we’re looking for stories about how – with the best of intentions – parents and children can sort of manipulate each other into positions they’re not sure they want to be in. We’d love funny stories for this show – maybe an actual “parent trap” type story of setting parents up or the parents setting the kids up. Maybe a story about a parent organization or event? A parent trying to do the right thing and doing exactly the wrong thing? Stories about feeling trapped in a family situation would work well, too.

HEROES: A woman in Las Vegas has spent the last few years in a battle with her daughter’s elementary school about a number of different issues – a prominent one being campus security. So when she and another mom find a first grader wandering alone alongside a road near the school one day, they are outraged. They pick up the boy and call the school district saying they’re returning the boy but have also called the local media to document the egregious lack of security at the school. The moms show up with the boy for the drop-off and are promptly arrested and charged with kidnapping. It’s the climax to the story where both the moms and the school have been gunning for each other for years, the battle increasingly fueled with the idea of doing “what’s best for the children.” We have another story about a guy trying to single-handedly save the integrity of Wikipedia entries from his friend who is purposely planting false information on the site. Other stories that’d be great for this show could include stories about unsung heroes – people who maybe don’t believe their actions were heroic despite evidence to the contrary? Or people who shun the spotlight? Or can’t escape their hero status? Maybe a story about someone who thinks he is a hero but everyone else thinks he’s a pain in the ass?

THE ISLAND: We’d like for all the stories in this show to be held together by a place, instead of an idea. So all the stories have to take place on an island. That’s it. Just an island. But a real island, not a “no man is an island”/”every man is an island” kind of thing. We’re working on one story with the Planet Money team about the economic histories of Jamaica and Barbados and how a fairly small, benign monetary move had very large consequences for those countries. Another story is about an attempt to repatriate lab chimps to an uninhabited island in Senegal. So stories that take place in the United States might be good for this show – Long Island? Rock Island? Hawaii? We were working on a story about Guantanamo that looks like it’ll probably fall through so any stories about Gitmo would work great for this show, too. Ideally, the island would be somewhat of a character in the story or at least the geography would play a part in the how’s and why’s of the story. Maybe a story about being stranded on an island? Opening a business on an island? Fantasizing about an island?

PERMANENT RECORD: A few months ago we were working on a really great, small story. A guy sent us a letter telling us about this time his father went to inter the guy’s mother’s ashes at a Veteran’s Cemetery in Illinois. Because both the father and the mother were vets, it was the father’s understanding that the interment would be free. But when he shows up at the cemetery, he’s told there is a $14.95 processing fee for the ashes. The father gets totally pissed, sees this as penny-pinching and a total betrayal of the U.S. government and, in his anger, dumps the ashes in the parking lot, goes home and tells his shocked kids what he did. Over the years – until his own death – the father is embarrassed by the story whenever the kids bring it up and accuses them of always “focusing on the bad things.” So it’s kind of a funny story of spazzing out, right? And the son tells the story beautifully. But when we call the Veteran’s Cemetery to fact-check the story, it turns out it’s not true. They DON’T charge a processing fee and, in fact, they double-check and say the mother’s ashes actually ARE interred at the cemetery – right next to the father’s ashes. We call back the son and ask what’s up. He’s shocked. He SWEARS this is the story his father told and his brother and sisters back him up on it. None of them can figure out why their dad would tell them this crazy story if it weren’t true. And all they can figure out is that their dad, in his later years, began to have a horrible memory. And maybe he was just messing with them the first time he told them and then, after that, forgot the story, forgot that it wasn’t true, relied on the kids’ version and then it just became fact. SoooooŠwe’re looking for more stories where something that maybe isn’t true becomes the permanent record. We’re working on a story about a an exonerated prisoner who keeps getting falsely accused of other crimes but that story may fall through so we’re open to more stories about trying to free yourself from an official “record.” Stories that might work well: maybe stories about trying to get free from a notorious reputation or past deed? Or trying to set the record straight? Or trying to change an identity?


TRUE URBAN LEGENDS: The thing that’s remarkable about this story is that you’ve already heard this story: a really normal guy who attends a very conservative evangelical college also leads a secret life on weekends, flying to places like Las Vegas and the San Fernando Valley, to star in hardcore gay porn films where he is known as “power bottom” Vincent De Salvo. The thing that I love about this story is that it’s true. Because I swear I’ve heard this exact story from my college roommate’s friend-from-high school’s sister. So what we want to try and do now is a whole show where the really remarkable part of the story is that, while the story conforms to the narrative structure and has all the editorial qualities of an urban legend, it’s actually true. We’re also thinking about doing something about the “monster fish” that showed up in a puddle behind a Dunkin’ Donuts in Baltimore a few years back (a popular story among the D.C./Baltimore set but, remarkably, little known to the rest of the country). We’ve got our eye on a story about organ trafficking, too. We’d love any other story you can think of that either traces the origins of an urban legend in a surprising way or lays out in a classic ‘urban-legend’ kind of way. A story about someone who created an urban legend, or maybe believes they are at the heart of an urban legend, would be great, too. And finally: we’re thinking we may just do a small part of the show where people admit the urban legends they believed for far too long. If you’ve got one of these stories about your own naïve beliefs, will you let us know?

MILLION DOLLAR IDEA: A few months ago our staff got to talking about our get-rich-quick schemes. It turns out Ira’s Million Dollar Idea is to domesticate foxes – he claims it’s easier and faster than you’d think. And then you’d have a really, really smart dog. A really smart, really crafty, really sneaky dog. Which sounds like a bad idea to me but I’d like to hear more of the argument before I truly pass judgment. Anyway, it got us to thinking that we’d love to do a whole show about various Million Dollar Ideas. The stories could be about unorthodox approaches to making money. Or, maybe, unorthodox approaches to solving a problem and going at it in a really big way. If someone is in the middle of enacting their Million Dollar Idea, that’d be great. Or stories about past successes that seemed incredibly unlikely at the time of inception. So-crazy-it-just-might-work stories would work well in this show, too.

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Making Contact Seeking stories on public education and the recession

Hey folks. Check out the opportunity below from the National Radio Project. -Mia _______________________

respond to email address below. Pay will be somewhat lower than normal pub radio rates, but reversioned stories are welcome. Pretty quick turnaround.

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UC Santa Cruz tape sync, Monday Nov. 30, 2pm

Hey folks. Anyone available for a tape sync on Monday, Nov. 30 at UC Santa Cruz, 2pm? It would take no more than an hour. Pay is $125. I would prefer someone already in/near Santa Cruz but we do cover mileage if needed. Lemme know! Best, Mia

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Kitchen Sisters Call for Stories and a Contest

Hey folks. The Kitchen Sisters are starting a new multimedia project and are looking for ideas. Info below! -Mia

The Kitchen Sisters are looking for stories and images and videos and writings.

We’re launching a new multimedia series on NPR this January, a listener collaboration in the tradition of Hidden Kitchens, Lost & Found Sound, and The Sonic Memorial Project. This one’s about girls. Girls and the women they become. Stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secret identities. Of women who crossed a line, broke a trail, changed the tide.

Small everyday stories, dramatic life and death stories. Stories from the middle of the city, to the middle of nowhere.

What women should we know about? What girl’s story should we tell? The famous, the infamous, the unknown, the untold. Women with public lives. Women with secret lives.

Call our NPR Storyline at 202-408-9576 and tell us your story, or the story of someone we need to chronicle. Or email us at

And here’s The Contest. We want you to help us name this new NPR series. We’ve called it The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, The Scheherazade Project, 1001 Stories, all names we like but can’t go with for one reason or another. So, we turn to you to join our brainstorming sessions. You can call or email us with your suggestions. Whoever picks the title will be featured on our website, get the full line of Kitchen Sisters products and productions, a wild boar dinner with forager, Angelo Garro, and the deep satisfaction of hearing the title you came up with on NPR throughout the year.

This soon-to-be-titled project will be full of richly layered sound and striking images, created by people around the world who help capture these stories of eccentric, trailblazing women and ground-breaking girls.

Join The Kitchen Sisterhood and help launch this new multimedia collaboration.

Many thanks,

Davia & Nikki

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KALW’s Your Call Producer Job Announcement

Hey folks. KALW is hiring. They’re doing some great work. Info below. -Mia

KALW is seeking a new producer for Your Call. The job announcement is attached, and it’s also posted at

The application deadline is Wednesday, November 11th, so please take a look today and forward it to your lists or any specific person you think might be interested. And of course, if you think you’d be strong addition to the Your Call team, I welcome your application.



Matt Martin

General Manager

91.7 KALW-FM, San Francisco

(415) 841-4121 x3003

Think globally, listen locally.

doc iconYour Call producer announcement 10 09 long.doc

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Kitchen Sisters workshops October 29 and November 5, SF

My favorite lady of radio is hosting another training workshop. If radio is your thing you don’t want to miss it. -Mia


Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters is conducting two basic recording and interviewing workshops in San Francisco. Thursday, October 29 and Thursday, November 5 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The three hour workshop is for people who want to acquire and hone their skills for an array of projects–radio, online storytelling, oral histories, audio slide shows, family histories, and other multimedia endeavors.
We will cover miking techniques, sound gathering, use of archival audio, how to make interviewees comfortable, how to frame evocative questions that make for compelling storytelling, how to listen (which is harder than it looks), how to use interviews in conjunction with images, field recording techniques, recording equipment and more. The workshops are customized to fit the projects you are working on.
People who attend come from radio, newspapers, photography, oral history, historical societies, farms, music, writing, libraries, web design and beyond. The groups are always lively and good contacts are made.
The fee is $115. Of course, there will be a snack. The workshops are held in Francis Coppola’s historic Zoetrope building in North Beach.

If you, or someone you know is interested, email and let us know which of the two workshops you would like to attend.

See you there,

The Kitchen Sisters

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