call for pitches on Economic Crisis from Making Contact

Making Contact wants your stories! Details below. -mia


Send all story ideas to

Hi freelancers, As you might have heard, we’re doing an ongoing series called “How We Survive,” about how communities across the U.S. are responding to the economic downturn. If you’re a Making Contact listener, you’ll know that we also strive to shed light on the systemic problems that make grassroots solutions necessary. Over the next year, we’ll be producing HWS shows about the topics below. We’re investing more resources into freelancers, so feel free to pitch us on stories outside our How We Survive series. We’re particularly looking for stories from under-covered communities outside of California. Please spread the word.

Jobs and Unemployment Record numbers are signing up for unemployment benefits, and there are dismal reports about long-term job recovery. In this show, we’ll hear how jobless folks are creating an income for themselves from Duluth, MN to Austin, TX. Stories could be about an unemployed movement in your town or what people are doing about a state-funded job program that didn’t work. How has the idea of a “decent job” changed in the U.S. and what are the obstacles to obtaining one?

Mental Health Care Across the United States, budgets are being slashed for services that care for the homeless and the mentally ill. And with the economic recession pushing millions into conditions of poverty, more and more people need mental health care. How are people taking care of their psychological well-being?

We Got Health Care Reform. Now what? Health care reform has finally been passed. But it is providing the change the system really needs? And what are people doing while they wait for the changes to kick in? We’re interested in stories about how communities are meeting their own health care needs, beyond what politicians were discussing on Capitol Hill.

Making Retirement Years ‘Golden’ In this show, we’ll explore how senior citizens are affected by the recession, and what they’re doing to obtain quality of life. Know a few seniors who’ve created an affordable, communal living senior compound? We’re particularly interested in the differences in experiences along race, class and gender lines.

Young People and the Recession Studies show that more than a third of young people in the U.S. have cut back on cigarettes and alcohol because of strapped personal budgets. Others are “boomeranging” back to their parents place because of a bad job market. We want stories about how young people are getting creative and becoming active and organized. We invite collaborations with Youth Media initiatives.

Declining Suburbia Reports say, over the past decade, poverty in suburbia has increased at five times the rate of that in primary cities. We’re looking for stories that provide glimpses into that reality. Stories could be about suburban blight, migration from cities to suburbia and failing transportation systems.

Rural areas and the Recession For many extra-urban places, joblessness is nothing new. But how has the recession changed their situation? We’re looking for stories from the South, farming communities and tribal reservations. Is there a distinctly rural history of community resiliency? How do federal policies such as the Farm Bill affect the countryside?

Send all story ideas to They need not be more than a couple of paragraphs. Please check out our pitching guidelines on our website: and


Pauline Bartolone, Tena Rubio and Andrew Stelzer

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