call for pitches (plus new higher rates!) from Making Contact

Making Contact wants your stories! Plus they have new, higher rates. Plus they're good people. Details below. -Mia


Seeking Pitches

Immigration and Elections: We want your pitches! We’re looking for character-driven stories that focus on how immigrant communities engage in U.S. electoral politics. 

Here are some themes we’re interested in exploring:

  • How are undocumented communities working around elections to mitigate the U.S. Supreme Court decision halting the expansion of DACA and DAPA?

  • What factors contribute to disparities in electoral participation within different communities? How are immigrant communities addressing mis-information about how to vote, new voter ID laws, and other barriers to participating in elections?

  • Are immigrant communities organizing to put politicians in office?  What are the opportunities and challenges?  

  • How are communities organizing outside of the electoral process to influence politics locally and/or nationally?

  • How are groups working against Trump and Trumpism beyond the conventions?

  • How is campaign financing influencing immigration rhetoric and policies?   

Got an idea, let us know!  Open to all and we are especially  looking for reporters who are themselves immigrants for our Immigrants and Elections miniseries. 

Guns: We’re looking for stories that bring new perspectives on guns, gun violence, mass shootings, and masculinity. 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. 

Occupy, 5 Year Anniversary: For this show, we’re looking for a story about a small town in the U.S. that responded to the call to Occupy a public space as part of Occupy Wall Street. We want to know why they decided to participate 5 years ago. What difference did it make? And what lessons did they carry into their organizing today?

People in Prison and Sentencing: 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. How are communities working not just to survive but thrive? How are low-income communities of color, expected to be hit hardest by climate change developing ways now to cope “later?” Unequal impacts of climate change on women?

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 previously uninterested or overwhelmed and depressed about the crisis but is now engaged in this activism. How did that personal and political transformation take place?

In addition to the above, we’re always interested in pitches on any of our ongoing beats: prisons, poverty, reproductive health, climate change and environmental justice.  


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 with an emphasis on creative ways to solve problems.  We’re interested in pitches for sound-rich segments of approx. 7 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? 

We’re trying out new rates!

Level 1. $800 plus travel reimbursement up to $100

Involve research and original reporting • Require the reporter to have substantial subject matter expertise • Involve time-consuming reporting • Have a sophisticated narrative • Require travel by the reporter • Have sound that does not involve phone tape • Be rich in a variety of sounds demonstrative or supportive of the story.

Level 2. $500 plus travel reimbursement up to $100

Involve multiple interviews • Involve interviews conducted where the interviewee is carrying on activities relevant to the story • Involve sound, scenes, and advanced radio storytelling techniques • Involve reporter having good prior knowledge of subject matter

Full 26 min Documentary  $1000 for veteran producers to do a full documentary edition. An exclusive is not necessary but air dates need to be discussed.  

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!  

— Monica Lopez, RJ Lozada, Marie Choi

Cash for collaborative journalism from @hostwriter, deadline Aug 31

Cash for collaborative journalism. Deadline Aug 31. Details below!


We are giving out over $5.000 for journalistic pieces and pitches that were done collaboratively, meaning that at least two journalists have to be in the byline. 
If you are interested in sharing the message you can tweet the following: 
Journalists worldwide can compete for cash prizes & story funding from @hostwriter! Send in a story or pitch by 8/31  
You can find detailed information, FAQs and the online application form here.

If you need some inspiration check out last year's winners on our blog

/// Apply for the #hostwriterPrize 2016 until August 31st /// – collaborate with journalists worldwide

August Podcast School at @UnionDocs, application deadline July 26

Great learning opportunity @UnionDocs from some of the best in the biz. Application deadline July 26. Spread the word! -Mia


An exceptional group of professional podcasters, artists, radio producers and entrepreneurs help you develop your audio practice and podcasting vision.

This seminar, designed by UnionDocs in partnership with Mathilde Walker-Billaud, will show producers the various creative practices of podcasting. It will offer them technical tools and skill sets for navigating through the podcasting revolution and finding their own path in this emergent medium.

10 years ago the internet and low cost audio production tools radically transformed the radio landscape, liberating makers from traditional media and the audience from time and space. Nowadays, anyone can become a broadcaster. But hosting a successful listener-supported podcast is a professional engagement. A successful podcaster has a great dose of imagination and a strong entrepreneurial initiative along with many technical skills, from audio engineering and radio journalism to sound storytelling and online marketing.

This week-long seminar will explore audio storytelling, interviewing, script writing, editing, mixing, sound design to audience engagement and more. 15 producers will learn from a team of seasoned guest speakers and practitioners — public radio reporters, sound engineers, radio auteurs, successful podcasters, media entrepreneurs and artists. Discussions, group and individual exercises, field trips and participants’ work-in-progress critiques will put this new knowledge into practice. Producer, writer and host of Flash Forward Rose Eveleth will lead the course.


Monday, August 22nd to Friday, August 26th, 10am – 5.30pm

UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave., Brooklyn NY 11211

Who is eligible?

We are looking for audio producers and podcasters (both new and experienced) from all aspects of the media industry and beyond with demonstrable skills in storytelling, sound editing and mixing.

Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Give us an idea of who you are and why you are coming. When you register you will be asked for a short statement of interest that should briefly describe your experience in audio production and a podcast idea (it would be great if you have one. If not, you might come up with one during the workshop), plus a bio. There’s a spot for a link to a work sample (and CV, which would also be nice, but is not required).

Please note: Participants *will not* be producing an audio piece during the week. Focus is on discussing and listening. The goal is also to develop your podcast/audio project conceptually.


The fee for the intensive follows the schedule below. 

August Session:

$750 – Early Bird Registration. Deadline July 26th at 5:00 PM.

$850 – Late Registration

Participants coming from outside NYC are responsible for their own transportation and room and board during the intensive. UnionDocs can provide assistance in locating housing and guidance for getting around town for those not native to New York.

Refund Policy:

Should you need to cancel, you’ll receive half of your registration fee back until July 26th. After July 26th, the fee is non-refundable.