Call for Pitches from Making Contact

Call for pitches from Making Contact. A great place for longer-form radio stories on important topics. Details below!


Dear Freelancers,

We’re looking for pitches from freelancers on several themes. If you feel you have a story that fits or a new idea, please let us know!

We’re also always interested in pitches on any of our regular beats: prisons, poverty, corporations’ undue influence, reproductive health, climate change and the environment.

Formerly Incarcerated Change Makers

Do you know someone making change in your community or at the national level who was formerly incarcerated? It doesn’t have to be in the area of criminal justice but we’re looking for stories about people who are in some way working for change, after spending time in prison.

Tent Cities

“Hoovervilles” were named in shame a US President who was blamed for the great depression.  But collective living among the homeless has its supporters too.

Dignity Village in Portland and Nickelsville in Seattle are just two examples of self-managed “tent cities” that have arisen in the recent past—not simply last resorts stemming from an underfunded social service system, but chosen alternatives for those alienated by the institutional approach. And as the years go by, some of these “temporary” communities are threatening to become a permanent part of America’s future urban landscapes.

We are looking for personal stories that take us inside temporary communal homeless villages, small and large.  The listener should learn about the honest pros and cons, in an effort to see whether collective knowledge is being gained about arrangement and management.

***Please note–We did a show on squats last year, so we are not looking for that type of situation. The communities should be constructed by and for the homeless, not a reclamation of already existing structures.

Guilt by Association

We’re looking for stories about people who are targeted, not because of what they might have done, but because of their connection to an individual or group. It could be a story from the criminal justice system, but we’re also open to other stories that might fit this description.

Informal Labor Markets

What do you do when you can’t find a job? Whether it’s because the local economy is severely lacking employment opportunities; or how age, gender, and race play out in the labor market; or the marketability of skill sets, there are various reasons people are pushed into informal labor. These are essentially marginal jobs people take on to survive, such as collecting recyclables, or  transporting goods categorized as personal luggage across borders. Some suggest training and certificate programs are what’s needed.  But is that really getting to the heart of the problem? What pushes people into informal labor markets? What impact does that have on economies and people’s lives?

Climate Change

“Climate Resilience” and “Social Cohesion” are terms used by environmental justice advocates and academics to mean various things. We want stories that explore these terms. It could be a local clean energy project, local economies, New  York after Sandy or something else. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive?


What’s faith got to do with climate? “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment and humanity’s responsibility to protect it, might give faith-based environmentalists added stimulus to organize. What are groups like Global Catholic Climate Movement doing to mobilize young Catholics. What are the tensions and contradictions between the Pope’s hopes and the general churches’ actions? And how significant was this call to action from the Islamic Climate Change Symposium?

The Starkest Borders

US/Mexico  Spain/Morocco  Israel/Palestine Greece/Albania  Singapore/Malaysia South Africa/Zimbabwe

It's at these crossroads of rich and poor nations, that the arbitrary nature of our borders is truly revealed. Why is the water undrinkable, 50 yards away from a place where it’s clean? Why are robust social services only available on one side of a fence?

This show is not about immigration.

We are looking for stories that bring us to one or both sides of borders between countries with vastly different standards of living, and see how the disparity affects the people and culture of those who live in close proximity. Interesting stories about professions that require people to cross everyday to work? Kids who cross to go to school?  Cross border medical care dilemmas?

What about the parallel histories of border cities on each side? Who drew that border, and why were some people left on the “wrong side”.

We would also be open to stories about the border between a country at war, and another at peace.


Making Contact is an award-winning, 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on 140 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?

Explore any alternatives or solutions?

Send pitches to 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 look forward to hearing from you!

Laura Flynn, Jasmín López, Andrew Stelzer & George Lavender

Making Contact producers

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