Tag Archives: radio

TAL request for pitches

Latest request from TAL. Please note their pitch process in the third graf. Good luck!


Hello This American Life contributors,

Thanks so much for your all responses to our last theme list. Our next list will be sent out soon, and in the meantime, we'd like to get your input on a new theme-in-progress that will air in a couple weeks: "Held Hostage".

The show will include a story about a radio station in Columbia that broadcasts messages from the family members of hostages to their captive loved ones. But we're also looking for stories that deal with less literal hostage situations people trying to escape or cope with whatever in their lives is keeping them captive. We're particularly interested in stories where the hostage situation is humorous or lighthearted. Or where the "hostage" is a thing instead of a person.

A reminder of how this process works: When you send in a story idea, you'll get a generic email letting you know that we've read your pitch. If we think the pitch is right for the show, or if we need more information, you'll hear back from us. But if you don't hear back from us within two weeks from the auto-reply email, it means the story just isn't right for us or for the needs of that particular show. The idea of doing it this way is just to get through pitches and get back to everyone a little more quickly.

Also, for this theme only, please address all your pitches to Ben Calhoun, (ben@thislife.org) and/or Lisa Pollak (lisa@thislife.org).

As always, thanks so much for your pitches. All of us here are very appreciative.

Lisa and Ben

Grassroots Radio Conference – workshops, scholarships, May 13th-16th

Details below on the 2010 Grassroots Radio Conference happening in Arcata, CA 5/13-16. There may be an opportunity to carpool with some folks from Making Contact and Freedom Archives. Contact Claude Marks < claude@freedomarchives.org> -mia


OPPORTUNITY! Each year the *Grassroots Radio Conference* is held in different cities across the U.S. In May it’ll be just up the road from the bay area in Arcata, California (4 hrs by car from Oakland)

Reg is $125 and includes 3 days of meals — single day reg avail too and Special registration for under 21 is $50

Financial assistance requests still being accepted. There is the Solidarity Fund for People of Color and the scholarship Fund for low-income folks.

Lot’s of hands on skills to learn and housing/crashing with friends of community radio there’s camping and the motels are $60 per night

Special Media Bus will be rolling through and Prometheus LP-FM micro radio building on site, plus more more more…. * SEE THE LINK FOR MORE DETAILS AND WORKSHOPS *(workshps soon to be posted) http://kmud.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=459&Itemid=184


KMUD’s Grassroots Radio Conference 2010, May 13th-16th in the Redwoods, is taking shape!

Laura Flanders has agreed to be a keynote speaker on Friday evening, May 14.

We’ll be showing on Friday evening the film: Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad (A Little Bit of So Much Truth) by Jill Freidberg. This documentary film highlights the key role of media in the Oaxaca uprising.

An initial list of workshops and events has just been posted to grc.kmud.org and includes a basic news training course.

Financial assistance requests received by April 1 receive maximum consideration. Donations are so welcome!

Workshop proposals are still very welcome.

Please register early if you’re coming! It would really help us.

Also, please help us spread the word.

Info on the conference is at grc.kmud.org

thanks, behr KMUD GRC Committee

seeking volunteer readers for Radio Reading Project

Hey folks. I don’t normally pass on this sort of thing but it seems like a very worthy project for folks with audio skills/equipment. Contact glrothman-“at”-verizon.netfor details. Best, Mia


A long-established nationally distributed radio reading service serving the visually impaired is seeking volunteers with good reading voices who have their own digital recording equipment, to record magazine and newspaper articles. The Radio Reading Project was known as In Touch Networks until budget cuts forced the closure of its studios at New York ’s Jewish Guild for the Blind. It continues to be heard, over special receivers, via more than 50 radio stations across the country and in hospital rooms around the New York City area.

Volunteers are asked to record at least one one-hour program a week, as two half-hour mp3 files, which would be FTP’d to a server.

If you’re interested, please contact Gordon at glrothman-“at”-verizon.net

call for pitches on Economic Crisis from Making Contact

Making Contact wants your stories! Details below. -mia


Send all story ideas to pitches@radioproject.org

Hi freelancers, As you might have heard, we’re doing an ongoing series called “How We Survive,” about how communities across the U.S. are responding to the economic downturn. If you’re a Making Contact listener, you’ll know that we also strive to shed light on the systemic problems that make grassroots solutions necessary. Over the next year, we’ll be producing HWS shows about the topics below. We’re investing more resources into freelancers, so feel free to pitch us on stories outside our How We Survive series. We’re particularly looking for stories from under-covered communities outside of California. Please spread the word.

Jobs and Unemployment Record numbers are signing up for unemployment benefits, and there are dismal reports about long-term job recovery. In this show, we’ll hear how jobless folks are creating an income for themselves from Duluth, MN to Austin, TX. Stories could be about an unemployed movement in your town or what people are doing about a state-funded job program that didn’t work. How has the idea of a “decent job” changed in the U.S. and what are the obstacles to obtaining one?

Mental Health Care Across the United States, budgets are being slashed for services that care for the homeless and the mentally ill. And with the economic recession pushing millions into conditions of poverty, more and more people need mental health care. How are people taking care of their psychological well-being?

We Got Health Care Reform. Now what? Health care reform has finally been passed. But it is providing the change the system really needs? And what are people doing while they wait for the changes to kick in? We’re interested in stories about how communities are meeting their own health care needs, beyond what politicians were discussing on Capitol Hill.

Making Retirement Years ‘Golden’ In this show, we’ll explore how senior citizens are affected by the recession, and what they’re doing to obtain quality of life. Know a few seniors who’ve created an affordable, communal living senior compound? We’re particularly interested in the differences in experiences along race, class and gender lines.

Young People and the Recession Studies show that more than a third of young people in the U.S. have cut back on cigarettes and alcohol because of strapped personal budgets. Others are “boomeranging” back to their parents place because of a bad job market. We want stories about how young people are getting creative and becoming active and organized. We invite collaborations with Youth Media initiatives.

Declining Suburbia Reports say, over the past decade, poverty in suburbia has increased at five times the rate of that in primary cities. We’re looking for stories that provide glimpses into that reality. Stories could be about suburban blight, migration from cities to suburbia and failing transportation systems.

Rural areas and the Recession For many extra-urban places, joblessness is nothing new. But how has the recession changed their situation? We’re looking for stories from the South, farming communities and tribal reservations. Is there a distinctly rural history of community resiliency? How do federal policies such as the Farm Bill affect the countryside?

Send all story ideas to pitches@radioproject.org. They need not be more than a couple of paragraphs. Please check out our pitching guidelines on our website: www.radioproject.org/getinvolved/howtopitch.html and http://www.radioproject.org/production/subguide.html.


Pauline Bartolone, Tena Rubio and Andrew Stelzer

FC listening session 5/18 with audio documentarian David King Dunaway

Hey folks. First, a big thank you to all who showed up for last week’s FC gathering. It was great to see everyone and I hope to be back for another gathering soon. In the meantime, there are a lot of great events coming up and I want to plant a bug in your ear about one of them. FC and Sandbox Suites are co-sponsoring a listening session with Pete Seeger documentarian David King Dunaway on May 18. David will be critiquing up to five audio pieces, and we’re looking for your submissions. So if you have something you’re working on and want feedback from someone who knows what he’s talking about, send a note to “Rori Gallagher” .

More details to come! Best, Mia freelancecafe.org FC on Facebook FC on Twitter http://twitter.com/freelancecafe

MacArthur Foundation Funds The Moth Radio Hour

This is great news for writers and radio folks alike. Keep an eye out for more opportunities from The Moth! -Mia



The MacArthur Foundation Announces Support for The Moth Radio Hour from PRX

The Moth, a nonprofit organization dedicated to live storytelling, is thrilled to announce a two-year $200,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to produce The Moth Radio Hour.

Debuting in 2009 with five pilot episodes, The Moth Radio Hour was an instant success airing on over 200 public radio stations around the country. “The Moth Radio Hour is the realization of a ten-year long dream to bring The Moth to public radio. We have long felt that radio was the perfect medium for our stories to reach a wider audience, and we are grateful to the MacArthur Foundation for making this possible,” says Lea Thau, Executive & Creative Director of The Moth.

The radio series captures the energy and authenticity of live performance at The Moth and weaves it into a compelling hour of radio. Presented by PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, and produced by award-winning producer Jay Allison of Atlantic Public Media, ten new episodes will be available to public radio stations for broadcast in 2010.

With generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, The Moth is building on the success of the pilot season. “I love The Moth. It is elemental, even primitive, in its simplicity: One person stands up and tells a story to a crowd of eager listeners. The only thing missing is the cave and the fire. The only thing we add is a microphone,” says Producer Jay Allison.

Originally formed by the writer George Dawes Green as an intimate gathering of friends on a porch in Georgia (where moths would flutter in through a hole in the screen), and then recreated in a New York City living room, The Moth quickly grew to produce immensely popular events at theaters and clubs around New York City and later around the country.

“Public radio is powered by true stories that illuminate the human condition,” says Jake Shapiro, Executive Director of PRX. “The Moth introduces new dimensions through live performances as well as online participation.”

PRX first funded a sample hour of The Moth in 2007 and is now the exclusive distributor for the program on public radio.

The Moth 2010 series is available to public radio stations at http://www.prx.org/themoth beginning May 1.

About The Moth The Moth is a nonprofit organization with ongoing programs, all of which contribute their best stories to The Moth Radio Hour. The Moth Mainstage where celebrities appear alongside unique voices from all walks of life; The Moth’s StorySLAM competitions, which are open to all and rapidly expanding to cities across the country; and The Moth’s community outreach program, MothShop, which bring workshops to people whose stories would otherwise go unheard.

Two additional projects are launching in 2010: The Moth StoryLine invites people to pitch story ideas online or through a toll-free hotline; and the MothUP program helps groups around the country form their own Moth storytelling groups in their homes and submit the recorded stories from these evenings to The Moth.

About PRX PRX is an award-winning public media network focused on innovation at the intersection of technology and talent. The PRX platform is an open distribution marketplace connecting thousands of producers and local public radio stations, creating public radio’s largest archive of on-demand programs for broadcast and digital use.

About Jay Allison Jay Allison is an independent broadcast journalist and Executive Director of Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. With APM, he co-founded PRX, Transom.org, and the Cape and Islands public radio stations. Jay was the curator and producer of This I Believe on NPR, and has made hundreds of documentaries and features for national broadcast. He is the recipient of five Peabody Awards and CPB’s Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding contributions to public radio.

More Acquisition Updates from Liaison’s Desk – Pt. 5 TRANSOM.ORG

And another one – this one is open to everyone, artists, writers, etc.. -Mia



Transom.org acquires pieces for about $300 a pop. We encourage and assist producers in getting their work broadcast after it appears on Transom: on NPR news shows, This American Life, Hearing Voices, and other venues. We also coordinate Transom features with PRX distribution. We sometimes anthologize pieces in The Transom Radio Hour.

We’re looking for great radio — things that are less heard, different angles, new voices, new ways of telling, and any other good pieces that haven’t found another way onto public radio. Editors evaluate material more by what it does than what it is. Some questions they’ll consider:

• On the air, would it keep you by your radio until it’s over? • Is the maker someone of talent who should be encouraged? • Does it push at the boundary of conventional radio in an exciting way? • Will it provoke fruitful discussion online?

Submissions can be stories, essays, home recordings, sound portraits, interviews, found sound, non-fiction pieces, audio art, whatever, as long as it’s good listening. Material may be submitted by anyone, anywhere — by citizens with stories to tell, by radio producers trying new styles, by writers and artists wanting to experiment with radio. As long as it hasn’t already aired nationally, we’ll consider it.

More Acquisition Updates from Liaison’s Desk – Pt. 4 SPLENDID TABLE/STUDIO 360

More updates for radio program acquisitions – thanks to AIRand NPR Liason Paul Ingles! -mia

+++++++++++++++++++++ *The Splendid Table *

*series: *The Splendid Table, starring Lynne Rossetto Kasper, is a show about food — enjoying it, buying it, cooking it — and about eating out, entertaining, health and travel. We’re looking for *produced* field pieces which fit our program. We are always seeking stories about food as a window to a culture; about meals as a memorable part of travel; about food producers (artisans and otherwise), the business of food, and new trends; about food and health; about the behind-the-scenes of restaurants or other food businesses; about festivals, family gatherings, holiday celebrations, and amazing parties — and about people with particular passions about food. Pieces with a quirky point-of-view or a sense of humor are encouraged. Pieces about local restaurants or other food businesses should focus on the exceptional people who run them, or have some other editorial focus which makes the story interesting to our national audience. *compensation:* We will pay $500 for a fully mixed piece that is suitable for air and meets both our editorial and technical standards. We ask for the non-exclusive right to broadcast the piece on radio, and to offer it on the Web (in both”streamed” and/or archival form), both in perpetuity. You would own all rights to the piece other than those granted to us. We ask only that The Splendid Table receive an appropriate credit when the piece, or elements thereof, appears elsewhere. We honor the spirit of the Code published by * AIR*.

*Show*: national one-hour show which airs weekly on over 200 public radio stations across the country and is also podcast weekly. *segments:* we are looking for segments that are 3-5 minutes in length. *pitch:* E-mail a brief description of your piece as well as the edited and mixed piece (mp3, audio link, etc) for our review and consideration. We will respond quickly with ayes or no, or with a proposed modification of the piece. If we say yes, we will send you an Agreement right away. *Contact:* Jennifer Russell, Producer jenrussell@americanpublicmedia.org

*Studio 360*

We are still accepting pitches from independents. Our protocol remains the same – a brief (2 paragraph) pitch to Michele Siegel (mtsiegel@wnyc.org) cc me (dkrasnow@wnyc.org). (We hope to revise our Independent Producer Guidelines in the coming month.)

With regard to rates, we took a tip from the new NPR system and decided that levels based on complexity and labor (rather than arbitrary duration brackets) made a great deal more sense – especially for the kind of feature we make. I’d like to note here that the great majority of stories we assign will fall at Levels 2 or 3.

*A Level 1 Story *would typically:

– Start with topic or subject selection provided by Studio 360 – Consist of interview(s) with a single subject, recorded in person or by remote, or short interviews captured in a brief period of time.

*Fee: $350 **(with mixing bonus: $500)*

*A Level 2 Story *would typically:

– Consist primarily of interview(s) with a single subject, recorded on location or in studio – Involve careful subject selection and research – Use sound richly

*Fee: $475 **(with mixing bonus: $625)*

*A Level 3 Story *would typically:

– Involve significant research – Feature multiple interviews in person or by remote – Require reporting on location – Use sound richly

*Fee: $875 **(with mixing bonus: $1025)*

*A Level 4 Story *would typically:

– Involve significant research and expertise in the subject matter – Require out-of-town travel by the reporter – Involve location reporting at multiple sites – Feature multiple interviews – Use sound richly

*Fee: $1000 **(with mixing bonus: $1150)*

New York Public Radio will apply the mixing bonus of $150 when Producer provides a complete and finished mix of the Piece, upon approval of that mix from the Editor.

“Soup-to-Nuts” documentary storytelling workshop, April 17-18, Berkeley

Hey all. My friend, mentor, and Freelance Cafe member Claire Schoen is offering her fabulous “Soup To Nuts” documentary storytelling workshop again in April. If you haven’t done this, you should. Details below. Best, Mia


“From Soup to Nuts” A 2-day intensive on documentary radio production offered in the San Francisco Bay Area

Logistics: This seminar will be held April 17 and 18, 2010. Each day’s class will run from 10 am to 5:30 pm, including 6 hours of class work, plus lunch and breaks.

It will be held at Claire’s studio in Berkeley, California Class will be limited to 8 students. The cost of the 2-day seminar is $250.

The Course: Through lectures, group discussion, Q & A, written handouts, and lots of audio demos, this two-day class will explore the ins and outs of creating a long-form radio documentary. Designed to meet the needs of mid-level producers, this seminar will also be accessible to individuals who have little or no experience in radio production.

Compelling audio documentary incorporates a creative weave of elements including narration, interviews, music, vérité scenes, character portraits, dramatizations, performances, archival tape and ambience beds. Students learn how these elements serve to paint a picture in sound.

Emphasis will be put on the production process. To this end, the class will examine the steps of concept development, research, pre-production, recording techniques, interviewing, writing, organizing tape, scripting, editing and mixing required to create an audio documentary.

Most importantly, we will focus on the art of storytelling. We will discuss dramatic structure, taking the listener through introduction, development and resolution of a story. And we will explore how character development brings the listener to the heart of the story.

The Teacher: Claire Schoen is a media producer, with a special focus on documentary radio. As a producer/director, she has created over 20 long-form radio documentaries and several documentary films, as well as numerous short works. As a sound designer she has recorded, edited and mixed sound for film, video, radio, webstory, museums and theater productions. Her radio documentaries have garnered numerous awards including NFCB Golden and Silver reels, two Gracies, two Clarion awards and a New York International Festival Silver. She has also shared in both a Peabody and a DuPont-Columbia.

Claire has taught documentary radio production at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has also taught radio scriptwriting and production at numerous venues including AIR’s mentorship program and the Third Coast Festival Conference.

To Register: Contact Claire Schoen cschoen@earthlink.net • 510-540-5106 • www.claireschoenmedia.com

pdf iconStoN’s Flier (April 10).pdf

More Acquisition Updates from Liaison’s Desk

More freelance radio show updates from Paul Ingles. -mia


I’m hearing back from other programs now:


William Troop: Our program is accepting pitches from independents. The pitches can go to our two planning editors: Jennifer.Goren@bbc.co.uk and Aaron.Schachter@bbc.co.uk. We ask that anybody pitching keep in mind that we are an international news program, so pitches need to be on international angles and be newsy to some degree. Standard feature rate is $115 per minute aired. There are also rates for providing web content (pictures, slideshows, etc.) with the caveat there that the quality of the submissions (as assessed by our web team) affects how much we pay for them.


Kathleen McKenna: Due to budget constraints, Here and Now, is not taking pitches from independent producers at this time.


Lester Graham: Yes, we’re accepting pitches from EXPERIENCED independents. Stories must be relevant to the everyday lives of the majority of the audience. We are a national show and stories must have a national perspective. Before pitching, producers should carefully read our Submission Guidelines: http://www.environmentreport.org/about/submissions.php%C2%A0 http://www.environmentreport.org/about/submissions.php

We pay $400 for a 3:50 piece (including lead) and an additional $40 for the same piece cut down to 2:15. We pay $40 for a spot and an additional $20 for a two-way for our daily show.


John Haas: All three Marketplace programs are accepting pitches from independents and John is the pitch contact: jhaas@americanpublicmedia.org. The rates for features generally range between $300 – $600 depending on length and reporting difficulty.

John also shared these helpful notes for pitching to Marketplace:

Celeste Wesson, the senior producer for Marketplace, recently did a great workshop for some station reporters on pitching, and wrote up these suggestions. Thought you’d like seeing what she said.

Pitch workshop notes

What is a pitch? A reporter might say… a summary of the story; a sales pitch

From my POV as a show producer… The written pitch may be the only thing I know about you. So not only does it tell me your story idea, it also tells me how well you write, how you think, what kind of reporter you are. You’re not just selling the story, you are selling yourself as the storyteller.

If you eavesdropped on our pitch meeting, you’d probably hear us turning down pitches for reasons like these: I don’t understand what this story is about. That’s not new. Where’s the Marketplace? Too local. Can s/he write in our style?

Turning those negatives into positive pitch guidelines:

* The frame or angle is crucial – what’s the import, the context, and the approach * It’s now, it’s news, it’s fresh * It’s about money, business, the economy – or uses those as a lens on how we live * It’s clear why people all over the country would care * It’s written clearly, conversationally, even cleverly – and gets to the point

Here’s a list of things that may inspire your pitch. But by themselves, they aren’t enough:

* A question * An idea * An overview * An issue * An event (especially not a conference) * A character * An anecdote * An unattributed paragraph from a newspaper story

*FROM JARED WEISSBROT: SOUNDPRINT* is always open for documentary pitches — there’s a submission form linked on our website, and part of your proposal evaluation is based on finding the form :). Responses will generally be slow — production meetings are difficult to schedule and front-loaded with a currently-very-busy production pipeline. Pestering me does help you get results, is entirely appropriate, and will not arise my ire. Go ahead and guilt me — I can take it 🙂 jared@soundprint.org

YOUR BEST BET IS TO HAVE SOMETHING FOR US TO LISTEN TO. I cannot stress that enough. As far as pitches are concerned, we are currently in acquisition mode almost exclusively — especially if we haven’t worked with you before from soup-to-nuts. Our time is 25:30. We’ll listen to any length, but if your piece isn’t going to work at around 5/12ths-hour, you will likely have more success elsewhere. We do not run hour-long specials within the series, but we will take pieces that work at 29:00 (minus :30 for music bed and about 3:00 for host lead, credits, backs, and forward promotion). We will gladly work with you on reversioning longer-form pieces that we like. It’s doubtful that we’d work with you on reversioning longer-form pieces that we *don’t* like.

We pay more than the lower rates, and less than the highest rates, per produced minute (we know you gotta eat; but we’re a volume-buyer). We will gladly offer technical assistance, including some mixing&mastering assistance, without affecting your rate. This is for us, too — the flip side is that we often will request technical adjustments.

We have no set topics or themes that will make your piece more or less likely to be acquired. We like good, rich sound, clear and personal writing/storytelling, and stories which can translate/appeal to a national and international audience (along those lines, national and international rights need to be free and clear — if international is a problem, you have to let us know).

Hope this helps!


Paul Ingles Independent Producer / Reporter NPR Liaison to Independent Producers www.paulingles.com 505-255-1219