Latino USA call for pitches

The latest from Latino USA.

Latino USA is seeking pitches for the following programs that will be coming up in the next few months:

  • Work It: Labor, working, being for or against unions. Example: a story about African American and Latino workers coming together in New Orleans.
  • Queer: Not only in the sexual sense, but also stories about odd jobs or odd experiences. Example: a piece about transgendered immigrant women who minister street medicine to each other, rather than trusting the medical establishment.
  • Larger than Life: Heavy hitters who fill up the page (or the sound file). Example: a profile of an octogenarian who fought for farmworkers alongside Cesar Chavez and survived being shot 7 times.
  • New Beginnings: Parenthood, getting free of addiction, first jobs, leaving home. Example: a profile of a family in Colombia trying to rebuild their village against all odds, after it was destroyed by paramilitaries.
  • Fiction: Write your own original stories for Latino USA. Example: a radio play with creative use of audio.
  • Space: Everything from outer space to personal space to mental space. Go the distance!

Please send your pitches to:

Pitch meetings take place every Friday and we try to respond to each pitch by early the following week.

The pay rate is $125 per broadcast minute. The show welcomes stories that include diverse accents and other languages.


new online tax help resource for self employed

Joy joy – it’s tax season. I’ve been doing my own taxes with Turbo Tax for the past few years and it’s daunting, but totally doable. A good friend introduced me to this book that has proven an invaluable resource for tax planning (what you can write off, etc.) and I just learned about a new not-for-profit site –
This from the folks at TaxHelp:

Having a basic understanding of tax codes, regulations, and benefits is essential to being self-employed. Whether you are a sole proprietor of a business or a freelance contractor, the IRS considers you self-employed and will hold you to a different tax filing standard. With the goal of creating a more user-friendly site than the IRS’, our guide introduces readers to the basics of self-employed taxes, accurate bookkeeping practices, and deductible expenses in succinct and accessible language.

You can learn more about the site on the about page:
Or jump right to the self-employed tax guide:
The site also includes a searchable database of 200K CPAs if you don’t want to go it alone. I started poking around the site and found it incredibly useful (though a bit depressing – found out that NY has the highest tax burden in the country, though CA isn’t far behind. Bummer.)
Anyway, check it out for what it’s worth.

Reintroduction of NPR Liaison to Indy Producers

Hey FC folks far and wide. You may already know this, but NPR contracts with a "liaison" to indie producers to help the freelance community navigate the waters of NPR. He can help you figure out who to pitch and when, even help you better frame your pitches to up your odds of getting picked up by the network. He's a great guy and always willing to help. His own introduction is below (originally sent to AIR members but available to any indies). Reach out to him!



Once or twice a year, I like to reintroduce myself and my role to the
independent producer community, saying a special 'hello' to newer AIR
members and reminding veterans that I am here to help if I can.

As NPR's Liaison to Independent Producers, I am available 8 hours a week
to help you in any way I can with your efforts to be successful as a
freelance reporter/independent producer in public radio.

Primarily, I am here to help you connect with the proper editors at NPR
for a story you might be ready to pitch. While not being an editorial
gatekeeper for NPR, I am happy and eager to help you shape up the pitches
in a way that gives them the best chance to get fair attention from the
NPR regional and specialty desks.

Since NPR can't take every story that's offered, I am also happy to
brainstorm with you about other possible outlets for your story idea in
the public radio universe, be they NPR programs or not.

Having done a little of a lot of things in public radio (reporting,
managing, training, producing specials, producing series, finding funding
and marketing projects), when time allows, I am also happy to offer
whatever tips I can to help you with your project ideas that might not
necessarily be story-reporting based. I can talk with you more generally
about just trying to make a go of it in any way in public radio. NPR
feels it does everyone good to help develop and encourage the talent pool.

Over the years of doing this, I have kept an archive of conversations and
tips that continue to be useful (even when some of the individuals have
moved on from particular posts and some shows have sadly folded). You can
find that at and see more about
what I have been up to in radio at

The best way to contact me is by email. It's best to put the word PITCH
or LIAISON QUESTION in the subject line so I can pick your email more
easily out of the Airlist which I monitor daily. I'm usually good at
responding within about 36 hours or less – faster if you're working on
something very timely. We can set up phone chats as schedules allow.

I've corresponded with I'm guessing between 300-400 different producers
over the 8 years I've been in this post. It's a pleasure to try to help
the independent community. Feel free to contact me.

Note that once I put out one of my "reminders," I sometimes here from a
good number of producers so response time with my limited hours on the
clock might be longer if you are responding to this email… but we will

All the best,


Paul Ingles
Independent Producer / Reporter / Consultant
NPR Liaison to Independent Producers

Hi-Tech Historical Display Project in Mountain View seeks collaborators

Hey Bay Area folks. Had an interesting opportunity cross my desk – a large multi-media project about Mountain View history and culture. They're looking to build a whole team and definitely have a budget available… Could be hourly, or a project rate of up to $7500 for the right person to head things up. Some details below. Contact Roger Burnell for more info: (650) 948-0300 <>
This from the Craigslist posting:

Hi-Tech Historical Display Project (mountain view)

*** NEW, Exciting History, Cultural & Technology Project Opportunity – in cooperation with the Mountain View History Association and the Mountain View Library, a special Hi-Tech project is now being launched to capture the history of Mountain View in a large Hi-Def Audio-Video Presentation that will be placed on permanent active display next to Castro Street in Downtown Mountain View.

This is an Invitation for you to participate if you are interested in and/or excited by making a significant contribution to the City and surrounding community of Mountain View, its past, its present and its technological future, and would like to be part of launching this project.

The Project Developers are now looking for and assembling key persons to contribute their talent(s) and interests to this wonderful project.

Needed person(s) and specialized talent(s) include:
• Teachers: current, prior, or retired teachers in the History, English, Sociology, General Education, art, visual arts, Graphic Arts, Photography, or extended community services fields;
• Current Cultural Event Opportunists: Art, Museum, Events, Tours, Topics of regional interest, Education, Sports, Special Events, Etc.
• Future, Hi-Tech Visionaries, Presenters, and Acolytes
• Content Developers and/or Graphic Designers: Presentation/Display Production Managers – amateur or professional, able to research, accumulate, and organize all relevant content/materials, and to produce and/or manage video content, as well as conduct studio Audio Session(s) for voice actors (or those with a "documentary-styled" speaking voice or ability)

This need is applicable to:
• Students: Current, Part-time, or recent grads; Internship for Credit available.
• Amateur or professional participants, historians, social scientists, cultural affairs enthusiasts, and creative-minded, visionary (Hi-Tech) supporters and applicants;
• Retired persons bringing pertinent background/experience or credentials in the areas mentioned, applicable to activating this project for the Mountain View / Sunnyvale / Los Altos Region

Start-up storytelling site now accepting audio submissions [paid]

A new storytelling outlet! And a little bit of $ for work you've already done. (I admit, after a quick glance I'm a wee bit skeptical about all this, but might be worth a shot. Send an update if have any actual experience with these folks, good or bad.) More details below.

++++++++++++++++ celebrates the comedy in everyday life. Our site features funny true stories, videos, photos and podcasts. We're looking to ramp up podcast and audio content. Record your story!

You can send us a story that is completely new or something that is already out there. Email a link to your podcast or audio story to with the subject line reading: “Podcast Submission: [Title of Podcast]”

Content should be family-friendly, positive and upbeat. Upon acceptance you will be paid at least $80 depending upon the quality of the work (humor, nature of content, background music and other effects, etc.)

Fulbright Fellowship/Award Opportunities, deadline Feb 28

Fulbright+National Geographic=my dream year. Details for their Digital Storytelling Fellowship HERE. (Note – this is open to all US citizens even though it's part of their Student Program.) 
The Fulbright-mtvU Awards are also very cool, but mainly for students. 

Projects should center around research on an aspect of international musical culture, and should focus on contemporary or popular music as a cultural force for expression or change. Preference will be given to graduating seniors and recent graduates.

Deadline for both is Feb 28.

The Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship is a new component of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program that provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to participate in an academic year of overseas travel and digital storytelling in up to three countries on a globally significant social or environmental topic. This Fellowship is made possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society.

The wide variety of new digital media tools and platforms has created an unprecedented opportunity for people from all disciplines and backgrounds to share observations and personal narratives with global audiences online. These storytelling tools are powerful resources as we seek to expand our knowledge of pressing transnational issues and build ties across cultures.

Through the Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, Fulbrighters will undertake an in-depth examination of a globally relevant issue, comparing and contrasting how that issue is experienced across borders. Utilizing a variety of digital storytelling tools, including text, photography, video, audio, graphic illustrations, and/or social media, Fellows will tell their stories, or the stories of those they meet, publishing their work on National Geographic media platforms with the support of National Geographic’s editorial team.

In addition to receiving Fulbright benefits (for travel, stipend, health, etc.), Fellows will receive instruction in digital storytelling techniques, including effective blog writing, video production, and photography, by National Geographic staff prior to their departure. Fellows will be paired with one or more National Geographic editors for continued training, editorial direction and mentoring throughout their Fulbright grant period. Fellows will provide material for a blog on the National Geographic website on a frequent and ongoing basis throughout their grant term, and will have the opportunity to develop additional content for use by National Geographic and the Department of State.

For the Fellowship’s inaugural year of 2014, applications will be accepted for the following themes: Biodiversity, Cities, Climate Change, Cultures, Energy, Food, Oceans, and Water.

Radio Editorial and Mentoring Trainer openings, Sierra Leone, deadline Feb 5

Amazing opportunity to work with the incomparable Prue Clarke and the BBC, supporting justice through radio in Sierra Leone. Details HERE and below. Deadline Feb 5.

BBC Media Action, a media development NGO, is looking for American independents who might be available for training jobs in Sierra Leone. Learn more: 

Apply by: February 5. 

Prue Clarke 
Africa Projects Manager 


BBC Media Action 
MC3A Media Centre, 201 Wood Lane 
London, W12 7TQ 


GF launches 1st Freelance Journalism Contest, deadline March 17

Well this is just about the best thing EVER! The first annual Freelance Journalism Awards Competition. It's limited to freelancers in CA and Hawaii, but hopefully this will inspire similar ceremonies elsewhere. Spread the word! Details HERE, and below. Deadline March 17.


Freelancers do great work. Whether you’re a writer, an editor, a photographer or a poet, isn’t it about time your skills were recognized by your peers — and everybody else who loves journalism? We think so. That’s why the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild is sponsoring the first annual Freelance Journalism Awards Competition.

This contest is open to anyone – freelancer or staff writer – whose work was published on a freelance basis during calendar 2013 and who lives and works in California or Hawaii. You don’t have to be a member of the Media Workers to compete, but of course, we’d love it if you join us (If you’re a member of our Unit who lives in another state, you are invited as well).

To be sure that all entries are evaluated impartially, our colleagues in the Washington D.C./Baltimore Newspaper Guild will handle the judging. That local includes journalists at two great newspapers – the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun – so your work will be measured by some of the best journalists in the business. We know you’re up to it.

The time to enter is now. Follow this link and you’ll find the rules, the categories in which you may compete, and an application form. It is free to enter for all Guild members; $10 for non-members per entry; $25 for three or more entries. You can pay by check or by PayPal.

Tell your colleagues about this contest and feel free to contact us if you have questions. And of course, we wish you the best of luck.

Reminder – First Freelance Cafe West meeting of 2014 TONIGHT! 6:30pm Oakland

Just a reminder that the first of the 2014 Freelance Cafe West gatherings is happening TONIGHT!

Pacific Coast Brewing Company, 906 Washington Street, Oakland.
Our gracious new host is Ana Adlerstein. Contact her at or (207) 807-6152 for details or if you can't find the group. This is going to be a regular thing again, so come by, introduce yourself, and have a say in the planning of future events.

AIR, PRNDI Announce Framework for Local Freelance Contributors

AIR and PRNDI have done some very important work to negotiate fair rates for indie producers working for local radio stations. They lay out their work in an upcoming webinar, Monday, Feb 24, 2pm ET. Sign up HERE. Info and links to great new resources below.Public radio stations and independent producers will now have guidance for negotiating rates to support creation of local stories, thanks to the efforts of a task force created by AIR and PRNDI last fall. AIR has also developed a new contract template designed expressly for station and freelancers. Together, these new resources support stations seeking to tap public media’s talent pool to strengthen their local position, and the interests of freelancers looking to expand their opportunities to contribute to public media outlets and reach new listeners.Many stations already rely on freelancers to add diversity, enhance their “sense of place,” fulfill grant requirements, or fill gaps in their schedules. A survey of newsrooms conducted as part of this initiative indicates the majority (85%) of respondents are working to strengthen the local identity of their stations. While, nearly half feel freelance content is important to their station and believe it will help their efforts to build local identity, most (71%) say their ability to acquire outside work is constrained by budget limitations. The average freelance acquisition budget of the respondents to AIR’s survey is $12,500/year with most (89%) commissioning 3-14 minute news features. The average spent annually on national programming for these stations is $608,500.The local rate schedule ( ) is modeled after the national standards first created by AIR in 2002 to set compensation based on the experience of a producer and the complexity of a story rather than a pay-per-minute fee. The new schedule lays out a sliding scale fee to account for the range of newsroom diversity across the system.The new contract template ( ) commissioned by AIR to accompany the rate schedule is designed to support negotiations of stations and producers as they set the terms and conditions for working together. AIR’s Guide to Fair Practices ( ) is another recommended resource available to all across the system.

PRNDI and AIR will present a webinar on Monday, February 24th at 2pmET.Reserve a spot by registering here:

Please note that space is limited. Do not register unless/until you can commit to attend.

The AIR/PRDNI task force was led by public radio reporter and former news director Susanna Capelouto. San Francisco-based Spencer W. Weisbroth, a business and non-profit attorney and AIR member with extensive experience working in public media, was commissioned by AIR to develop the contract template. Advisors included independent producers Karen Michel, Lu Olkowski, Jay Allison, and Katie Davis, consultant Mike Marcotte, PRPD President Arthur Cohen, and station-based staff Tanya Ott who serves as vice president of radio for Georgia Public Broadcasting, Sally Eisele, managing editor of public affairs for WBEZ, and Jim Gates, senior editor at KUOW and head of the station’s Program Venture Fund. AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt and PRNDI President George Bodarky, news director of WFUV in New York, also consulted on the final framework.

  • *****************Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI ( ) is a nonprofit professional association that exists to improve local news and information programming by serving public radio journalists. PRNDI educates, advocates, and organizes to promote high standards, ethical principles, and significant public service. PRNDI works to strengthen the skills, capacity, and professional position of news directors, and through them, strengthen public radio’s local news and public affairs efforts in ways that are embraced by audiences, station leaders, networks, and supporters.AIR is a vibrant international production network made up of 1000 public media journalists, documentarians, technicians, media entrepreneurs, and sound artists with a core expertise in independent audio production. The Boston-based organization identifies, cultivates, and deploys members to deepen understanding of and bring enlightenment to citizens worldwide. Its training programs and productions are defining and driving an expanding media landscape spanning digital/technology, broadcast, and street media platforms — challenging and inspiring other media-makers to join us at (
    AIR/PRNDI Station-Freelance Acquisition Guide:
    AIR Station-Freelance Contract Template:
    Guide to Fair Practices:
    NPR rates: