Category Archives: Freelance Cafe East

Freelance Cafe highlighted on WAMC’s 51%

I recently spoke with WAMC’s Susan Barnett for her show 51% – The Women’s Perspective. She asked me about my freelancing experience and gave a nice shout out to Freelance Cafe. It was fun to be on the other side of the mic for a change! Listen to hear a bit about why I started FC and my thoughts on networking as an important part of making it as a freelancer.

This was 51% Episode 1220, broadcast on November 29 at 8pm and again on December 5 at 3pm.

Here’s a blurb about the show:

In America, women make up more than half the population. Worldwide, women are expected to outnumber men within the next fifty years. And every issue we face is one that affects us all.

Whether it’s the environment, health, our children, politics or the arts, there’s a women’s perspective, and 51% is a show dedicated to that viewpoint.

Host Susan Barnett talks to experts in their field for a wide-ranging, entertaining discussion of issues that not only fall into the traditional ‘women’s issues’ category, but topics that concern us all as human beings and citizens of the global community.

Tune to 51% weekly throughout the U. S. on public and community radio stations, some ABC Radio Network stations, Armed Forces Radio stations around the world and on the Internet.

Radio Cabaret, June 9, 7:30pm, Brooklyn

Another super cool event from the folks at Radio Cabaret. Details below.


A couple months back we announced on this list that a group of us were experimenting with the medium of radio in performance.  In March, we had our first ever Radio Cabaret at Union Docs in New York.  I'm pleased to announce that we're back for more this Saturday, June 9th.
If you're as interested as we are in how to bring our radio work into other mediums, I encourage you to come check us out.
The last event sold out and we had to turn people away, so get 'em while they're hot!


Saturday June 9th, 7:30-9:00pm
UNION DOCS 322, Union ave. Brooklyn NY

Radio Cabaret is a variety show featuring documentary audio based performances. We bring the traditions of public radio to the stage through storytelling, musical performance, visual animation, theater and live interviews. Stylistically similar to a variety show or radio magazine, performances range in topic but share a common reference to the art of radio broadcast.

This event is a living breathing hour of radio performed quarterly and hosted by our fabulous DMC (disembodied MC), Chris Berube.

Featuring: Contortionist Amazing Amy, Laura Hadden, Brendan McMullan, Michal Richardson, Alexis Powell, & Random Tape
for more info:

Transom Story Workshop Deadline – June 15th

Transom has extended their deadline for the Transom Story Workshop this fall – new deadline June 15. Details below.

A lot of people requested more time to complete their Transom Story Workshop application for the fall, so we've extended the deadline to: 11:59pm EST, June 15, 2012.

As you may already know, the Transom Story Workshop is an eight week training for beginning radio producers in Woods Hole, MA. Our next session is scheduled for October 1 – November 30, 2012. The class is taught by radio teaching legend, Rob Rosenthal along with lots of amazing guests. For this past Workshop some of our guests included: Transom Tool guy Jeff Towne, This American Life’s, Hillary Frank and Jonathan Menjivar, producer Scott Carrier, David Krasnow of Studio 360, Kitchen Sister Nikki Silva, independent producer Ari Daniel Shapiro, and John Barth of PRX. You'll get a piece edited by Jay Allison, vocal coaching from Viki Merrick, and support from the whole Transom team.  

Participants stay in wonderful old Cape Cod houses, with some rooms right on the water.  There are a couple of group meals each week, cooked by a famous local sea cook.  It's fun.  An amazing radio camp.  You can check Transom for reports from students who've attended, many of whom are now working in public media.

Students leave the Workshop with a portfolio of work, their own copy of Hindenburg editing software, a PRX membership, and AIR members who are accepted into the Workshop will receive a travel stipend.

You can find guidelines and the application all right here:


If you have any questions, please send them to

Call for Pitches from America Abroad – Religious Minorities in the Mideast

The latest call for pitches from A.C. at America Abroad. Details and contact info below.


Hi all,

Thanks so much to all of the freelancers who rapidly (and enthusiastically!) answered my last call for pitches. The next America Abroad will focus on religious minorities in the Middle East.

We're looking for reports that can answer questions like to the following:

-What does the Arab Spring mean for Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities where new governments and constitutions are forming?

-What policies of tolerance and protections of minority rights(or lack thereof) exist in the Middle East?
-How do religious minorities fit into political systems where they are outnumbered?
-What is the societal role played by minority Muslim sects?
-What non-Abrahamic traditions exist in the Middle East, and where are they surviving/thriving? How do they fit into their society and its sociopolitical dynamics?

Of course, these are just examples. Feel free to think outside the box. We're looking for pieces around 8-10 minutes in length, with good potential for natural sound and a real opportunity to take our listeners to somewhere they might never otherwise go. We also want to make a serious examination of policy, government, and how religion fits into political questions.

The deadline for completed pieces will be June 29th, and we pay $125-$150 per minute, with higher rates dependent on a piece's quality, reporter experience, and contribution of multimedia (photos, social media participation, video, etc.)

Please get in touch off-list at acvaldez at americaabroadmedia dot org.


Upcoming at UnionDocs, Brooklyn

The latest events from UnionDocs in Brooklyn. Details below!

Saturday, June 16 at 7:30pm. $9 suggested donation.
New York-based documentary filmmaker Kathleen Foster will screen and discuss her films Afghan Women: A History of Struggle (2007) and 10 Years On, Afghanistan & Pakistan (2011). “Foster challenges viewers to examine how Afghan women have continually borne the dual costs of American imperial ambitions on the one side, and the barbarity of feudal warlords on the other.” — Prerana Reddy, Queens Museum of Art, New York.

Sunday, June 17 at 7:30pm. $9 suggested donation.
Post-Vietnam, Paul bought a trailer for his family to live in. Many bad winters (upstate, near Troy) made the mobile home unlivable, so he took matters into his own hands and started to build a house – around the trailer. He never made any blueprints. 30 years, 4 floors and 100 windows later, the house is almost done. A home movie documentary,Be Like An Ant spends some time in the house. Mike Plante in attendance for the discussion. His uncle Paul Plante, subject of "Be Like An Ant," will join via conference.

Coming up next weekend: 

Radio Cabaret – Summer Edition

Saturday, June 9 at 7:30pm. $9 suggested donation.

Radio Cabaret is a variety show where radio stories come to life before your eyes. Producers bring the traditions of public radio to the stage through storytelling, musical performance, visual animation, theater and live interviews. Performances range in topic but share a common reference to audio documentary. This hour unfolds like a living breathing radio magazine with a radio host (disembodied MC) and a variety of acts. This evening will feature the work of public radio journalists Brendan McMullan, Michal Richardson, Alexis Powell and Laura Hadden. Their performances will vary in length from five to fifteen minutes.

Coming up this weekend:

Nomadic Archive: Abraham Ravett presents the Works of Tom Joslin

Saturday, June 2th at 7:30pm. $9 suggested donation.

Abraham Ravett will screen and discuss two of Tom Joslin’s works:  Blackstar: Autobiography of a Close Friend from 1976, and the posthumously assembled work The Architecture of Mountains (2010). Ravett writes the following about the project: Before he left for LA in 1981 to pursue a career in Hollywood, documentry filmmaker Tom Joslin completed an innovated and to this day, historically significant film called Blackstar: Autobiography of a Close Friend (1976, 85 minutes, color, sound, 16mm). It was one of the first autobiographical, diary format films that addressed the issue of gay identity and coming out to one’s family. It’s a beautifully made film, formally inventive, and still resonates on many fronts.


If you could help us spread the word about these events in any of your publications, we would really appreciate it. If you do end up publishing something about the events, please let us know!


Neta Alexander
Associate Programmer
322 Union Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Marketplace Ups Freelance Rates

More good news about freelancer rates from AIR and APM's Marketplace. Hurray!!

In January, we were pleased to share the news of an across the board rate increase by NPR for outside freelance and station-based contributors ( ). June brings more good news.

American Public Media's Marketplace will significantly increase rates paid to outside contributors, effective immediately. They have also refined their tier-based payment system, originally developed and advocated by AIR in 2008 (see the announcement below).

This decision to increase rates comes after a period of fiscal austerity. Beginning in 2008, major programming outlets for freelancers such as APM’s Weekend America and NPR’s Day to Day, were canceled. Coupled with reduced acquisition budgets across the system, freelance producers have been particularly hard hit over the last several years. We believe this announcement is another indicator that a new chapter of opportunity and promise has opened for producers working across public media.

We are grateful to American Public Media Senior VP and General Manager Judy McAlpine and to Marketplace Executive Producer Deborah Clark and Editor John Haas for working to implement these changes. Their efforts are reflective of APM’s on-going commitment to freelance journalists and to AIR’s vibrant and growing network of more that 850 producers across 46 states and 20 countries worldwide. We are confident that this move will serve to strengthen public media journalism and the important service that we, together, provide to citizens throughout the United States and the world.

Sue Schardt, Executive Director
David Freedman, President


For Immediate Release:  May 30, 2012

American Public Media's Marketplace will increase rates paid to outside contributors by 8% to 20% beginning immediately. The Marketplace program portfolio, which includes Marketplace, Marketplace Morning Report, Marketplace Tech Report and Marketplace Money, serves nearly 10 million listeners each week. Marketplace also has adopted AIR’s tiered freelance journalist compensation structure, which bases compensation on three tiers pegged to the journalist’s level of experience, and the level of effort expended in producing a feature.

The new rates are posted at the AIRmedia website:

John Haas, Editor

NPR Rates Increase:
Marketplace Rates Increase:
Join AIR:

Occupy the Film Festival! September 15-16, New York City

Submission deadline for Occupy the Film Festival is June 30. Details below.


On the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, "Occupy the Film Festival" is bringing together the most compelling and innovative films of the movement for a weekend of screenings at Anthology Film Archives, the premiere independent cinema in downtown New York City. Festivities will include prominent guest speakers, an Occupy photography exhibit by award-winning photographers, an Occupy fashion show, and guerrilla projections by the famous Illuminator.

The festival is organized by a coalition of radical mediamakers and activists, with the support of many well-known alternative media groups around the city and country.

We are now inviting submissions via our website and would be very honored to receive yours by June 30, 2012:

Please pass this message on far and wide. We'd like to reach all 99% filmmakers!

In solidarity,
Michelle Fawcett

SOTRU Call for Interns, application deadline June 5

Hey folks. State of the Re:Union is looking for their next round of interns. It's about 10 hours/week, unpaid, but you can work from anywhere and learn with a great group of radio folks. Details below!

State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) is a dynamic NPR show that combines hour-long radio documentary episodes with short videos, photography,

music and blog posts to reach audiences online and over the airwaves. For each episode, SOTRU travels to a different American city or town.
Our mission is to tell stories that bring American life into focus, examining the things that divide us as well as the ties that bind us together. We currently air on more than 200 stations across the U.S.

SOTRU currently has several openings for interns for our next production season, June 15 – September 30 (candidates are very welcome

to start earlier if available). Duties include transcribing interviews, story research, pre-interviewing, and podcast / multimedia
production. Interns are invited to listen in on editorial calls with our host, editor and radio producers as we shape each episode, story by story.

  • We have a new position available this summer for one person to intern with award-winning independent producer Lu Olkowski on a special hour-long episode that Lu summarizes this way: "This is a story about a pint-sized community in Appalachian Ohio whose residents appear to be white yet cling to the notion that they are, in fact, black." This would be an extraordinary opportunity to dig into American notions of race in a deep, considered way, and to get exposure to long-form documentary production.*

    To be considered for a SOTRU internship, you should have a strong creative background, solid writing skills and be able to take
    direction. Self-starters who value attention to detail have particularly enjoyed interning with us. Audio and video editing skills
    are very welcome. Our staff works remotely, and you can too; people anywhere in the U.S. can apply. This internship is unpaid, and we generally ask for about 10 hours a week, sometimes more during busy weeks.

    You can read more and listen to the show right on our website, If interested, please submit a cover letter and resume by June 5 to:

    internships(at)stateofthereunion(dot) com

    We will evaluate candidates on a rolling basis, so earlier applicants may snap up available positions. Thanks for reading and spread the word!

  • Audio Engineer Needed, NYC

    Hey NYC audio folks – interesting opportunity for the right producer/engineer. Details below.

    I am a host moving from a prerecorded environment to a live show in New York City Metro. The show will air 9am – 11am M-F. I need to find a producer/audio engineer/BFF–who needs very little sleep (at least for the first month)–to be my right arm, left foot and, frankly, my spine.

    Please don't send me any attachments. I do not want anything fancy. All I want to know is the following: (1) What is your work history, (2) links to any audio/visual samples, and (3) the exact amount you would expect to make per a YEAR for the FIRST year of the show being on air. [Send items to:].

    For the corporate types, the professional job advert is below:

    Title: Audio Engineer/Creative Producer
    Hire Type: Full-Time or Part-Time (depending upon experience/knowledge)
    Hire Date: 21 June 2012
    Initial Contract Term: 26 June 2012 – 25 June 2013
    Work Days: M-F, occasional weekend/holiday work (extra days are paid extra)
    Work Time: 5:30AM – 12:30NOON (1st month will be longer days and late evenings)
    Base Pay Range: (TBD)
    Benefits/Perks: No-Benefits at this time
    Supervisor: Show Host


    New live broadcast show needs an audio engineer/producer: This person MUST have a good ear and be responsible for:

    General supervision of the broadcast clock, interns, guests and callers

    Development/supervision of show imaging and music
    Operations for the broadcast console, sound board/jingle palette
    Monitor of live audio/video stream
    Get/keep the show on the air on time every day
    Programming of breaks including adverts, social service announcements
    Other duties often related to the production of the show

    Preference will go to producers that: (a) posses solid and creative production/music/audio skills; (b) have some commercial radio experience; and (c) is funny.

    America Abroad seeking US pitches

    Hey folks. A quick turn-around opportunity with America Abroad. Shoot an email to A.C. if you want more information, and to get on his list for future calls for pitches.



    You might know me as Diane Rehm's former call screener and a longtime independent producer in my own right. Recently I was hired as a producer for America Abroad, PRI's monthly show on international affairs.

    I'm working right now at growing my rolodex of reporters both here in the US and abroad, and since we focus primarily on international affairs, I'm very excited to connect with anybody who might want to help us out in the future, particularly if you're an expat reporter.

    However! This month we're looking to make a local/global connection happen. We're focusing on water issues all over the globe. What we're trying to do is tie a water-related issue in the US into the water crisis in the world at large, either in terms of sanitation, water recycling, irrigation, solving scarcity problems, policies that need to be examined in terms of environmental cleanup, that kind of thing.

    If you're from a dry area of the US, know of any exciting technological innovations that are happening here and can be applied to other places, are familiar with river issues in your area that apply elsewhere, or have another story you're willing to pitch, I want to hear from you! Here's the challenge, though: we're looking to have a story ready to go by the 5th of June (we feed to stations on the first Tuesday of each month).

    Please shoot me a note off-list at

    A.C. Valdez