Bay Area Documentary Fund, application deadline April 15

Call for Proposals: Bay Area Documentary Fund – Deadline April 15th

2013 Bay Area Documentary Fund Grantee, Frank Wong's Chinatown

Many award winning documentaries have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area. In recognition of this notable documentary tradition, The San Francisco Foundation invites accomplished film/video/digital media artists to apply to the Bay Area Documentary Fund for early production support.

This year, awards ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 will be given to support documentary projects in early production phase by experienced filmmakers with an esteemed body of previously created work. Projects should address issues pertinent to the five Bay Area counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, or San Mateo and align with the Foundation’s programmatic goals. The San Francisco Foundation is interested in documentaries exploring issues that have been historically underexposed, misinterpreted, or ignored.

Complete proposals are due Wednesday, April 15, 2015, by 11:59 p.m. Awardees will be notified on Wednesday, July 15, 2015.

Visit the Bay Area Documentary Fund page for information about the fund and instructions on how to apply.

If you have additional questions, please email Tere Romo, Arts and Culture program officer, or call 415.733.8523.

Thank you,
Tere Romo
Arts & Culture Program Officer

[conferences] upcoming SPJ conference April 17-18, San Francisco

Hey Bay Area folks – the SPJ Western Regional Conference is coming up April 17-18. Details below. Don't miss it! -Mia

Claim Your Audience: SPJ 2015 Western Regional Conference

One Month Left to Buy Early Bird Tickets

SPJ spring conference logo

Join a dynamic group of media professionals April 17-18 at the Society of Professional Journalists' 2015 Western Regional Conference in San Francisco.

Come to the Western Regional Conference for insights on navigating the ever-evolving media landscape. Hear how newsrooms are supplementing reporting with data visualization, podcasts and online video. Learn from freelancers who are carving lucrative niches by identifying their audiences. Glean tips on email encryption from savvy journalists who take on powerful interests — and who know how to protect their sources.

The conference will feature forward-thinking media entrepreneurs and tenacious investigative reporters leading intensive workshops on April 17, followed by a day of engaging, multi-track programming on April 18 at the Hotel Whitcomb. Throughout the weekend, conference goers will enjoy several social and networking events, as well as SPJ’s Mark of Excellence ceremony.

Please visit the conference website to find out more about discounted room rates at Hotel Whitcomb and to follow programming updates.

Book your tickets now to take advantage of our early-bird admission fees:

Third Coast’s 2015 ShortDocs challenge, deadline April 14

One of my favorite contests of the year – the Third Coast ShortDoc competition. I've entered twice and lost, but had a great time doing it. (2007 entry, 2010 entry) Maybe third time is a charm. Who's with me?



Here's your chance to take part in an international audio mega-project, whether you've been making radio for decades, or have always longed to utter "Testing 1, 2" into a microphone. The ShortDocs Challenge is for everyone!



As always, ShortDocs comes with a set of rules inspired by a creative partner. For 2015 that's the Studs Terkel Radio Archive from the WFMT Radio Network.

Terkel's work spanned an impressive variety of topics and figures – but his recordings have been largely inaccesible to the public. Until now! The good folks at WMFT are creating the first-ever comprehensive online collection of Terkel's radio work… and are giving us a sneak peek

We hope you'll be inspired by Terkel's interview style, spirit, and wild curiousity – and run with that inspiration in any direction you see fit. Sound art, documentary, oral history, radio drama, hybrids, all are welcome – just as long as your piece follows the rules.



Your radio story must:

– be two to three minutes in length
– be titled with a question that begins with one of the five Ws (who, what, when, where or why)
– contain the question "And what happened then?"
– include a shout of silence or a cry of laughter

The deadline for submitting your ShortDoc is 11:59pm CT on Tue, April 14th.



These rules were inspired by Studs' own words about interviewing, we encourage you to read the whole passage.

Want some clarification about the rules? Other questions or concerns? Check out the FAQ.



– Five winning ShortDocs will be featured at the 2015 Third Coast FilmlessFestival (TCFF), in fall 2015 in Chicago (dates tbd).

– Eight finalists will receive a free pass to the TCFF.

– Top submissions will be featured on Third Coast’s Re:sound and podcast, presented on PRX Remix, and at Third Coast listening events in Chicago and beyond.

– All participants receive a free one-year SoundCloud Pro account.

– All submissions are archived permanently on this site, and all producers are added to the Third Coast Producer Index.

Please note: Winners' travel and accomadaiton to/for the TCFF are not covered this year.



February 18-April 14: Submissions accepted
Late May: Finalists notified
June 2-18: Voting open for People's ShortDoc Award
June 24: Winners announced!



– Producers retain non-exclusive rights to their submissions.

– TCF retains the right to showcase all ShortDocs in service of Festival happenings – including at Listening Rooms, on Re:sound, and onPRX Re:mix. (Note – producers may also license ShortDocs themselves, through

– Four winners will be selected by Third Coast staff, with guidance from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive staff.

– The People’s ShortDoc Award will be selected by the international listening public.

Questions about how/what to submit? Check out the FAQ and/or feel free to ask.

KCRW seeks pitches for various shows

KCRW's Independent Producer project wants YOUR ideas. Thanks @ryankailath for the heads up! -Mia

KCRW’s Independent Producer Project is looking for independent contributors to pitch stories to the following KCRW programs:   

KCRW is seeking timely pieces running from 4 to 8 minutes in length for local broadcasts ofMorning Edition and All Things Considered. Ideal pitches will add depth and insight to a relevant topic of local or national importance. Topics may include local or statewide politics, technology, healthcare, education, poverty, drought, environment, business, immigration and entertainment.

KCRW’s Which Way, LA?, hosted by Warren Olney, is seeking topical pitches for stories from 5 to 7 minutes in length for its daily public affairs show, which explores issues affecting Southern California. Stories should be hard-hitting and rooted in comprehensive reporting. Topics may include city and state-wide politics, drought, transportation, trends in demographic shifts, policy and big real estate developments. Stories that have national implications but roots in California are encouraged.

KCRW’s The Business hosted by Kim Masters is seeking both narrated and non-narrated features from 4 to 10 minutes in length for its weekly broadcast and podcast about the ‘business’ side of show business. Looking for offbeat stories from inside the entertainment industry. Topics might include the intersection of entertainment and technology, changing consumption habits, stories from below the line, and stories about creative approaches to the challenges of funding and distribution.

KCRW’s DnA, hosted by Frances Anderton is seeking audio and video pieces of various lengths for its twice monthly broadcast and podcast. Ideal segments will take a unique approach to exploring issues of importance in our designed world. Broad themes include mobility, community and transportation. DnA also seeks producers who are located near national and international design events (Mexico City Design Week, New York Fashion Week, Venice Biennale etc.) and can provide coverage.

KCRW’s Good Food, Evan Kleiman’s weekly hour-long show about food, culture, and the politics of consumption, is seeking pieces from 4 to 12 minutes in length for upcoming broadcast. Stories should not be restaurant reviews or trend pieces. Using rich scene tape and colorful character, stories should reveal something about our own selves through the experience of food. Stories written using a specific voice and point of view are encouraged. Stories that explore emerging communities in Los Angeles through food is encouraged.

KCRW’s UnFictional is seeking documentaries and personal stories running anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes in length. Ideal pitches will contain a strong narrative or forward momentum. UnFictional loves to explore corners of America and the world where a seemingly tiny story may prove to have big stakes. Even better are pieces with an unexpected twist that may provoke or possibly even disturb. You can listen to past episodes of the program to get a sense of the show’s tone.

To submit your pitch, go to and click ‘Pitch a Story.’ Feel free to email with any questions.

Bay Area Freelance Cafe meeting March 2, 6:30pm, Oakland

Hey Bay Area freelancers! The next gathering is coming up. Details below.


Hello freelancers!

Sorry for the delay in meetings, but we're at it again! Please bring some food or drink to share, something to discuss, or some work to show off. 
Big thanks to Natalie Jones who is so very willing to host us this month that we're actually going to meet in the house she's house-sitting for! She warns that there's a mellow dog and a wild cat, so give us a heads up if you'd like us to quarantine them before the meeting, otherwise they'll be adding their opinion on tax law.
March 2nd, 6:30-9PM
6454 Colby St.
Oakland, CA 94618
Big yellow house with a little front porch. There should be plenty of parking; if not right out front, down the block or on nearby streets. Rockridge and Ashby BART stations are both about a 10-15 minute walk. 

See you soon,


Food and farming fellowship, deadline March 15

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is offering ten $10,000 postgraduate Food and Farming Journalism Fellowships in a new program established by Michael Pollan, the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Deadline March 15.

The UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is offering ten $10,000 postgraduate Food and Farming Journalism Fellowships in a new program established by Michael Pollan, the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. The fellowship, a project of the Knight Center in Science and Environmental Journalism, is supported by a grant from The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation. Aimed at early and mid career journalists, the Fellowship presents an opportunity to report ambitious long form stories on the full range of subjects under the rubric of food systems: agricultural and nutritional policy, the food industry, food science, technology and culture, rural and urban farming, agriculture and the environment (including climate change), global trade and supply chains, consolidation and securitization of the food system and public health as it relates to food and farming.

The fellowship was open to both print and radio journalists; in future years, it will expand to include multi-media and video journalists. We will give preference to U.S. focused stories, but will also consider international stories with a strong U.S. angle or connection.

Online applications for this year’s fellowship will be due March 15, 2015, and should include a one-page pitch with a clearly defined story idea, not just a subject. The pitch should reflect some preliminary research, providing a clear sense of place, characters, narrative and reporting strategy. The application also requires a CV, two letters of recommendation and published clips.

Those interested in applying will need to be available for a workshop June 8-12, 2015 at UC Berkeley with the 2015 cohort of fellows, fellowship director Michael Pollan, guest editors from national publications and managing editor Malia Wollan. Travel, lodging and meals for the meeting will be covered by the fellowship. During the first session, fellows will refine their story pitches with the help of the editors, and develop a reporting and publishing or broadcast strategy. Fellows will also have opportunities to meet with and interview faculty members and researchers doing work relevant to their stories at UC Berkeley.

Reporting and writing will then take place from June-November. Fellows will meet for a second four-day session in mid-November, during which time completed stories will be workshopped and edited; the editors will also assist fellows in placing their stories for publication or broadcast. Travel and lodging for the November session will also be covered by the Fellowship.

QUESTIONS? Contact us.

BackStory call for pitches

BackStory is now accepting pitches for the following shows (dates in parentheses are dates by which all tape would be due):

Islands (3/14): On this episode, the Guys will journey in search of islands — material and metaphysical — that have played notable roles in the course of American history. We need: stories from actual islands themselves! We’re specifically after pitches (of historical stories, of course) from freelancers on location on an island.

Trash (3/11): On this episode, we’re doing a social/cultural history of trash in America. It’s pegged to the idea of “spring cleaning,” so we’re probably not looking for stories about human waste or public health/sanitation (outside of garbage collection). We’re asking questions like: how have Americans defined and redefined trash? When did landfills begin? How does trash become historic material? Is recycling really a ‘new’ phenomenon?

Revivalism (3/25): Focusing on dramatic upsurges of religious energy, this episode will explore the persistence of revivalism — from the “Great Awakening” of the early 18th Century, to the rise of the religious right just decades ago — considering how religious sentiment has expanded beyond the individual and spiritual to embrace civic and political concerns.

Here’s a link to the pitch page of our web site, for info about what makes a good BackStory pitch:

BackStory is especially interested in stories 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.

Knight Foundation Funding, deadline Feb 16

Deadline is approaching for the next round of Knight Foundation funding – Feb 16. Go for it! -mia
Knight Foundation just announced funding
for 10 new projects through the Knight Prototype Fund
which helps people explore early-stage media and information ideas with
$35,000 in funding for each venture. Our next Knight Prototype Fund
application deadline is Monday Feb. 16 at midnight ET.

If you have a great idea in mind apply now
( and spread the word through
your networks. For updates, follow @knightfdn on Twitter.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me. We look
forward to reading your submissions.

Chris Barr
Knight Foundation
Director for Media Innovation

Slate seeks freelance audio producers

Slate is looking for audio producers! Details below.



My name is Laura Mayer, and I'm a senior producer at Slate working on some podcast projects. 
I'm looking to find producers who can produce podcasts – from recording, to final edit. The whole enchilada. The idea is the work would be done remotely, so if you're not located in New York or D.C. that's fine (if not encouraged!).
I'm especially interested in finding producers who have experience working with podcasts in particular (although radio experience is great, too). 
If you're interested, and would like more details, please send me a note at, introducing yourself, with a little bit about your audio experience, and any audio-related links you'd like to share. Please make the subject line of your email "Producer: [Your Name]"
And if you're booked, but you know of any audio producer friends who are looking for work, please send this their way! 

Prix Italia awards opening to non-members, deadline March 30

From the folks at Prix Italia via @AIRmedia. Open to indies! Initial deadline March 30. 
Big news.  For the first time, the prestigious Prix Italia is opening one of its radio awards to non-members.  Independent producers and all broadcasting organizations are being encouraged to enter.  

Make no mistake.  This is a breakthrough.  A strong response to the call for entries will send a message to open up the competition even further. 

Entry details will follow in the next few days.  In the meantime, consider what you might enter.   Here’s the call for entries. 
The Prix Italia Golden Award for Radio New Formats
For the year 2015 a Prize is being awarded to the most innovative, unconventional, groundbreaking, daring and bold radio/audio format, including web native radio and audio offers, with no limit of genre, platform, length, produced with or without the support of archive material.
Participation is free and open to member organisations and other players, such as independent producers.
Each competitor can enter only one programme. This  programme will not be considered in the total number of the entries submitted by Prix Italia members and its length will not be calculated in the overall total length of the programmes submitted to the radio competition.
The programme must have been broadcast or published online in the same form in which it was submitted.
The period of eligibility is: 19th September 2013 – 30th March 2015.
The programmes that have already competed at Prix Italia in the previous editions are automatically excluded.
The prize money, amounting to Euro 7,000, will be offered by Prix Italia to the submitting/winning broadcaster.
The jury, which will be composed of internationally renowned personalities invited by Prix Italia, will take into consideration the following criteria: originality; the values of delight, surprise, engagement and daring; an unconventional approach to audio/radio; excellence in storytelling; innovative sound design and innovative communicational settings.

Deadlines: registration of entries and summaries by 30th March  technical material by 30th April.