The American Homefront Project is seeking pitches for 3 -5 minute radio stories of national interest. The Project is a CPB-funded collaboration of North Carolina Public Radio/WUNC, WUSF-Tampa, and KPCC-Los Angeles. Our stories are available free to every public radio station through PRX.
The American Homefront Project reports on military life and veterans issues. We visit bases to chronicle how American troops are working and living. We meet military families. We talk with veterans — in their homes, on their jobs, at school, at VA hospitals — to learn about the challenges they face.
We cover major policy issues at the Pentagon and Department of Veterans Affairs, and we report on the family issues that service members and veterans experience in their daily lives. From the youngest military recruits to the veterans of World War II, we're reporting in-depth stories about Americans who serve.
We seek well-produced, sound-rich, in-depth stories. We maintain national standards both in our journalism and audio quality. We require web text and photos with all stories.
Compensation is $1000 per story, plus pre-approved travel expenses. ALL STORIES MUST BE COMPLETE BY MAY 31, 2017.
Read and hear more at www.americanhomefrontproject.
Sam from 99% Invisible here. I’m reaching out because I would like to encourage you to pitch our show, and help you do so successfully.
Since the beginning, 99% Invisible has benefited from freelance contributors. In years past, at least one or two stories a month would come from a freelancer; in 2016, we only had ten for the whole year. Why? Because we just aren’t getting as many pitches as we used to.
Our working theory is that it must be it’s because everybody has jobs now. Jobs are great! Yay jobs! But we miss you guys, and we miss your pitches. And so if you’ve ever wanted to get a story on 99% Invisible, read on, I’m here to help.
First, let’s talk about what we look for in a pitch:
We tend to go for stories that reveal something surprising about the built world. We tend to avoid stories about things that are cool in their own right—we look for the cool thing inside of the mundane or overlooked thing. And our “cardinal rule” is “no cardinals,” i.e. no stories about nature or science; we focus on things built by humans.
Consider a few freelance stories that worked well for us:
Awareness (reported by Audrey Quinn). Tells the surprising and moving story of the AIDS crisis through the history of a simple object, the awareness ribbon. http://99percentinvisible.org/
Longbox (reported by Whitney Jones). Reveals the surprising connections between an obscenity lawsuit and a massive voter registration movement, all playing out in the physical packaging of an REM album. http://99percentinvisible.org/
Pagodas & Dragon Gates (reported by Chelsea Davis). Revealed the surprising history of a thing we see everywhere—orientalist architecture in Chinatowns across the country—and how it actually first emerged as a tool to resist anti-Chinese politics. http://99percentinvisible.org/
America’s Last Top Model (reported by Ryan Kailath). Tells a story of a fascinating place, teaches us about physical watershed models, and reveals something surprising about technology: that physical models are still better than computers. http://99percentinvisible.org/
What do all these have in common?
A designed object/building (or class of objects/buildings) + surprise + joy and wonder about the built world.
Now let’s say you’ve found something that fits the above criteria. Hooray! The next step is to write up a pitch. A good pitch tells us what the story is and who the people are you’d want to interview (ideally you will have already talked to them on the phone to hear if they’re good talkers and are game to be interviewed). You don’t need to have an ending or a structure totally worked out, but you should be able to show a richness of detail and get us to care about something we otherwise would not have thought twice about.
Pitches are usually about a page long, single-spaced. If we haven’t worked together before, please include some info about your experience level, where you’re based, and your phone number.
Once you’ve got your pitch written, head over the contacts page of our website: http://99percentinvisible.org/
Those submittals go into an email box that I check. I read every pitch. Seriously—every single one.
I generally check that inbox every 7-10 days, and when I come across your pitch, I’ll email you a pre-written form letter saying that we’ve received your pitch and that we’ll get back to you within two weeks if we’re interested. This email was sent by me, a real human, and I, a real human, will take it to the next pitch meeting. (If for some reason you submitted a pitch and didn’t get the form letter within two weeks, please write to me directly at email@example.com. But please do allow us two weeks to get back to you).
Next, I take your pitch to the team, and if there’s interest, I’ll follow up with you to greenlight your story and we’ll discuss next steps.
If not, I’ll try to personally let you know that we’ve passed on the story, though I’m not always able; if it’s been two weeks since you got the form letter saying your pitch has been received, it’s safe to assume we’re passing on the story and you should feel free to pitch the story elsewhere. If you get an email saying that we’ve passed on your story, please don’t ask for more details why, as we generally don’t discuss our decision-making process with non-staffers. If there’s anything I can tell you about why we’re passing on the story, I’ll volunteer that info.
So, that’s the process. It can sometimes take about a month between submittal and a response, and I’m sorry for that, but that’s realistically the fastest we can go.
If you have any questions about the process, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this was helpful, and I hope you pitch us soon!
A bit about Brooklyn, U.S.A.:
Brooklyn, U.S.A, part of the slate of new shows launching late 2016 by BRIC Radio, is a monthly podcast that features stories from and about Brooklyn. The stories are compelling, evergreen, and are produced by a curated and rotating group of producers, journalists, storytellers and radio professionals.
We're looking for evergreen feature stories which bring us into hidden corners of Brooklyn or those right in front of our eyes. Average length of a piece will be 4-5 minutes. This is not the show for breaking news or profiles of programs or organizations; it is a show about Brooklyn and for Brooklyn, all of Brooklyn. But those are the only parameters. Consider it a place for stories that are not heard elsewhere, and a home for all of those stories you see, witness, experience daily. It can be with or without narration, personal or not, but it must have journalistic merit and be journalistically sound and accurate.
Each episode of Brooklyn, U.S.A. will be approximately 30 minutes and will include at least 3 pieces. The pieces will reflect the diversity of Brooklyn, which is also part of BRIC’s mission and each show will be tonally and topically diverse.
Pay is competitive with WNYC, New York Public Radio. The rate is approximately $100/minute but we will work individually with you to figure this out.
Please send your pitches to email@example.com
BRIC is an incredibly diverse and vibrant arts and media community which has as its missions upholding that diversity, both in who contributes to BRIC and the work that comes out of BRIC. We encourage promising producers to submit pitches as well as more seasoned ones. It is you, the reporter/producers who will make Brooklyn come alive for our audience through your varied perspectives and experiences. We are also a place which often runs stories which others don't, so send us those story ideas you've hoped to do but which lacked an appropriate home or outlet.
WHYY's health/science/innovation show "The Pulse" is looking for pitches that can turn into assignments that can produce some awesome audio. We're mostly looking for fresh new ideas, but we're open to work that's previously been aired as well.
What makes a story a Pulse story?
It takes the audience on a journey.
It puts people first.
It answers questions people didn’t even know they had.
It empowers people to take control of their health.
It celebrates breakthroughs with skepticism.
And it Keeps it weird…the fringe is where the action is, afterall.
Send your concise pitches to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll be assigning the week of July 5th, so please have pitches to us by Friday, July 1st.
Managing Editor, The Pulse
America's Test Kitchen Radio is looking for your stories! We want tape about unusual New Years traditions with food from around the world, from Black Eyed Peas to Yusheng. Please email us if you have ideas for short interviews to be included in our show. We are not looking for fully produced pieces, but collaborators in tape gathering. Talk to your grandmothers! Your bakers! Your Korean uncle or German schoolteacher! Deadline for pitches is July 19, 2016. Fee is $250 if chosen to record your story. Producers will receive an on-air credit for their contribution.
We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. See list below. If you feel you have a story that fits or you have a new idea, please let us know!
We’re also always interested in pitches on any of our ongoing beats: prisons, poverty, corporations’ undue influence, reproductive health, climate change and the environment. We’re still looking for reporters who are themselves immigrants for our Immigrants and Elections miniseries–per that recent call for pitches.
**NewsFlash — We’ve gotten a non-profit subsidized license to try out Hearken software. We’re stoked to have our freelance producers and reporters experiment in using it with us. Check out Hearken and if your story would benefit from seeking audience input upstream, tell us about that.
Incarceration Issues: We’re looking for stories detailing the effects of the prison systems on children and families, delving into life after incarceration, and stories examining sentence reduction reforms at the state level. For instance in California, Prop 47 passed in fall 2014. It reduces drug possession and five other felonies to misdemeanors. Are other states making changes similar to California’s Prop 47 ? What have been the preliminary results in California and what of the backlash by those opposed to the sentencing reform?
Climate Change: “Climate Resilience” and “Social Cohesion” are terms used by environmental justice advocates and academics to mean various things. We want sound-rich stories that explore these terms in practice.
It could be a local clean energy project, local economies. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive? How are low-income communities, expected to be hit hardest by climate change developing ways now to cope “later?” How are people of color led organizations and networks particularly exploring the justice angle in “climate justice?” We’re looking for stories that break out of the gloom and doom, wonk-talk or science-load, and instead give a glimpse of people coming together to take steps now.
Pitch us stories about various bottom-up and grassroots organizing methods and tactics. Perhaps a profile of someone who was either uninterested or overwhelmed and depressed about the crisis but is now engaged. How did that personal and political transformation take place?
Guns: We’re looking for stories that bring new perspectives on guns, gun violence, mass shootings, and the ways in which they affect women and men differently. These could be personal stories. They could also be more investigative or explanatory pieces. We’d also welcome other pitches related to guns, maybe a look at one of several states’ legislation to allow or ban concealed carry on college campuses.
Transgender: There is an organized backlash running astride transgender political movements. More than a dozen states have introduced legislation that would limit transgender access to public spaces and programs— spaces like bathrooms, sports teams, and locker rooms. A portion of those bills would also allow for businesses and individuals to discriminate against transgender adults and children based on religious or moral beliefs. Pitch us a story from one of the states that would allow discrimination based on religious or moral beliefs, or, one on Los Angeles Unified School District policies that help trans kids and their families during the coming out process. LAUSD has been the model for school districts across the country.
Elections: Pitch us a story on the presidential elections that is unique. Stories that do not focus on the horse race itself but some other angles or structural issues such as voting rights. For example, we did a piece on the electoral college. Or a story from the grassroots mobilizations leading up to the elections such as Democracy Spring or Democracy Awakening in April about govt corruption and campaign finance reform. Or stories generated from the many other gatherings and protests planned for outside of the conventions. What does the Black Lives Matter movement have planned? Rather than “covering” these events we’d be interested in a follow-along with characters and scenes, and digging underneath the obvious.
Community First Response: When it comes to meeting people’s immediate needs – food, housing, healthcare, and safety – our friends, families, and neighbors are often the first responders. We are looking for stories about groups of people who are taking community first response to the next level, creating projects (formal or informal) that are rooted in values of mutual support, and can be replicated. For example, a group of neighbors helping local small businesses address violence and conflict without involving the police or government agencies. We are not looking for segments on nonprofits or government agencies that provide services.
Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 120 radio stations in the USA, Canada, South Africa, and Australia. Amplifying voices and perspectives rarely heard in mainstream media, Making Contact focuses on the human realities of politics and the connections between local and global events, emphasizing positive and creative ways to solve problems.
This call for pitches is for segments of about 8 minutes(unless otherwise noted), and we pay $450 per story of this length. We also occasionally take longer pieces (12 or 26 minutes).
As with any pitches you send us, please check out our show and read our guidelines before you pitch.
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?
– How will the piece motivate the listener to act?
– How will the voices or point of view expressed differ from what is heard in the commercial media?
– Explore any alternatives or solutions?
Send pitches to email@example.com. Please be detailed but succinct, and include a description of your idea, narrative/story arc, interview subjects, scenes, and sounds/ambi. If you’re pitching to us for the first time, please include a brief bio and relevant audio clips.
We will review every pitch, but it could take us a couple weeks to get back to you. So, please be patient
We look forward to hearing from you!
Laura Flynn, Jasmín López, Monica Lopez
Making Contact producers
We're interested in all sorts of formats and lengths. Many of the freelance stories we take are in the 7m-12m range, but we're open to longer (or shorter, for that matter). And, we pay very competitive rates for freelance pieces.
POLITICS (ongoing throughout the year)
We’re looking for many stories in the lead-up to the election, including pieces about first-time voters, demographic shifts, and places where voting laws could have a big impact on Latino turnout. We’d also like stories about local races that highlight issues at play in the larger election.
We do NOT want stories that are just about the horse race or simply tell us that a non-profit group is trying to get out the vote. We’re looking for pieces that show the human side of the election, with interesting characters that reflect why people vote the way they do and what various campaign positions could mean for ordinary people. We’re especially looking for under-reported stories from the Midwest and the South.
– First-generation Americans voting for the first time in a household where parents can’t vote; first time someone joins a get out the vote effort and/or joins activism in politics; first Latino candidate running in a local race where elected officials are mostly white.
– This is also the first time that two Latino candidates have been in the running for president yet Cruz and Rubio face criticism about their “Latin-ness." We are looking for stories that address this, especially in their home states of Texas and Florida.
– We want to explore how/if media coverage – both local and national – differs in Spanish media news outlets in the US like Univision and Telemundo.
MIGRATION IN A GLOBAL CONTEXT
Latino USA often focuses on immigration to the US from Latin America, but this is just a piece of a larger global phenomenon. We’re looking for stories from all over the world that help explain how and why people are moving from one part of planet Earth to another – with a particular emphasis on how issues like war, climate change and the economy are all factors.
Stories about all aspects of finance and making a living: minimum wage battles; banks that cater to Latinos; discrimination and redlining; and access to bank accounts and home loans for Latinos at different income levels.
A large part of the immigrant experience is about learning to fit in. We’re looking for stories about assimilation and resisting assimilation, succeeding or failing at fitting in. Also stories about coming to the US, from either a personal or a news-driven angle.
Stories about pregnancy and reproductive health. For example: the effect of one’s culture on the experience or treatment of postpartum depression; pregnancy and birthing practices that complement a woman’s cultural practices and beliefs; different ideals and expectations of motherhood based on one’s own culture or upbringing.
IN THE PIPELINE
Things that set people on a path, for better or worse. Story examples include the school-to-prison pipeline and the lack of a pipeline in the Catholic Church, where young Latinos who are undocumented can’t become part of the clergy.
Stories about people in precarious situations or navigating conflicting pressures; being caught between two forces or two people; giving something up in order to gain something else.
When do you keep silent and when do you speak out? What is the cost of each?
One example is a story we have in the pipeline about the Chilean band Los Prisioneros, which pushed the limits of censorship during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Now they’re considered iconic.
WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE
The experiences of women of color in the workforce, as they face a particular set of barriers that white women have the privilege of avoiding (racism, classism, colorism, not just sexism).
Possible angles: ideals of “professionalism” imposed upon women of color, based on white standards of beauty and respectability; bosses who are women of color, including their challenges, their management style and how their subordinates treat them; the impact of workplace discrimination on women of color; and balancing a woman’s need to advocate for herself with the pressure of not wanting to be seen as a rabble-rouser.
Stories about people, places, or events reaching the tipping point. Watershed moments that sparked change or created some kind of critical action, perhaps after simmering below the surface for some time.
Siblings living far apart, perhaps in separate countries; people who are brothers or sisters in spirit if not in blood. We’re open to all kinds of ideas on this one!
Stories about iconic Latino films; profiles of foreign filmmakers; images of Latinos in movies.
From soap opera memes to La Llorona (the crying woman), tears play an interesting role in Latino culture. We’ll dive into the cultural history and science of crying and try to answer the question: Do Latinos cry more? We are looking for personal stories about crying and other ideas the topic may spark.
BOYS, MEN, FATHERHOOD, MACHISMO
From how young boys are doing in school, to how Latino notions of masculinity affect different part of men’s lives – from dating to the workplace to fatherhood. Also, the intersections of sexuality and machismo and challenging old paradigms of masculinity.
With the US hosting the Copa América Centenario this summer, we’re focusing on “the beautiful game” and the hold it has on the American continent – let alone the world. We’re looking for stories of rabid fandom, split allegiance, and the ways in which a love of soccer has changed people’s lives for better or worse. Also, soccer’s growing popularity in the US and what contributions our country’s growing Latino community has brought to the sport, and vice versa.
Stories about Latinos and car culture. For example: the past and present of low riders, the consequences of being undocumented and ineligible for a driver’s license, and life at a car dealership in New York. Bring us cool stories about cars!
Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and one of the world’s biggest economies. But for nearly 400,000 Brazilian-Americans, there’s a nagging question: Do we count as Latinos? For this episode, we’re seeking stories about Brazil and how Brazilians fit into the American tapestry. Personal narratives and pieces about identity, culture, politics and family histories are welcome. We’re open to all kinds of pitches for this one, surprise us!
Stories that show the experiences of Latinos on college campuses.
THE CIA IN LATIN AMERICA
For much of the latter 20th century, the US Central Intelligence Agency played an active role in Latin American politics, toppling governments and installing others at it saw fit. In this history show, we visit some of the most outlandish chapters in the CIA’s Latin America histories, from explosive cigars to covert infiltration of the Cuban hip-hop scene. Pitch us one we haven’t heard about yet, or a fresh angle about a famous one.
So you want to expose a hidden story, take us to a place nobody has ever been, or uncover a secret others want to keep under wraps?
Tell us about your story by filling out the pitch form at the bottom of this page.
Here are a few pointers on what we are looking for and how we approach our editing process.
As you may have guessed, a Reveal story reveals something that we don’t know or is hidden from us.
Our stories involve interesting characters. We like good talkers.
Reveal reporters take us to a “place” – we are immersed in the narrative, we can hear what is going on in the manner of “show, don’t tell.”
We let our listeners hear what our characters are grappling with and what is going on in their environment.
We like tape that contains action and tells a story, is visual, and helps us experience the high stakes some of our characters experience.
Our stories have plot, they surprise us and/or challenge our listeners and characters.
Once the field work is done and all the tape is gathered, our editing involves collaborative listening sessions, story edits, a legal vetting, and usually takes between four to six weeks to complete.
We will review every pitch, but it could take us a couple weeks to get back to you. So, please be patient.