Making Contact (radio program)
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|Running time||29 minutes|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
|Produced by||Andrew Stelzer, Kyung Jin Lee, and George Lavender|
|Recording studio||Oakland, California|
|Original release||1994 – present|
Making Contact is a 29-minute weekly magazine/documentary-style public affairs program heard on community and public radio stations in the USA, Canada, South Africa and Ireland.
It is produced by National Radio Project, which distributes public affairs and news programs to non-commercial radio stations without charge. National Radio Project also distributes program copies to educational institutions and community organizations.
Making Contact features voices not normally heard on mainstream media. Issues covered include: climate justice, immigration, prison reform, reproductive justice, food politics, water issues, and many other topics. Its stories span the entire U.S. and the globe. As of 2011, it is aired in 39 states on 139 stations. The National Radio Project is based in Oakland, California. Many of the journalists who have produced documentaries for Making Contact have also contributed reporting for Pacifica Radio station KPFA-FM in Berkeley, California, which has aired the program since its inception.
In 1994, a small group of community activists and journalists met in an Oakland café to discuss how to counter the new proliferation of “hate radio” a genre epitomized by Rush Limbaugh and others. The National Radio Project and its flagship radio series, Making Contact grew out of those discussions. On the National Radio Project website, show pages feature links to the people and groups heard on the show to encourage people to get involved.
In 2007, Making Contact was subscribed to by 180 radio stations.
Notable guests on the show have included
- Cornel West - Author of numerous books and professor at the Center for African American Studies and Department of Religion at Princeton University.
- Laura Flanders- Author, host and founder of GRITtv.
- Paul Mason- Economics Editor for BBC’s Newsnight, and author of Live Working, Die Fighting.
- Nawal El Saadawi - Author, activist and re-founder of the Egyptian Women’s Union.
- Michelle Alexander - Author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
- Robert Fisk - Longtime Middle East correspondent for The Independent.
- Maria Hinojosa - Mexican-American journalist and talk-show host.
- Chris Hedges- American journalist, author, and war correspondent.
- Paul Rogat Loeb - Seattle-based author and activist.
- Joanna Macy - Long-time peace, justice, and ecology activist.
- Dahr Jamail - Journalist and author.
- Nadje Sadig Al-Ali - Author and activist.
- Erica Fernandez - Environmental activist from Oxnard, California.
- Arundhati Roy - Renowned author and activist.
- David Barsamian - Author and Alternative Radio founder, producer and host.
- David Korten - Economist, author and former professor.
- Daniel Ellsberg – Former United States military analyst.
In 2003, Pratap Chatterjee's documentary Let’s Go to Mazar: A Chronicle of Life in Afghanistan after the War, and Monica Lopez and Stephanie Welch's Biowars: First, Do No Harm won awards from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB). In 2005, a segment entitled "The Fight Over Gay Marriage", produced by Steven Valentino, won first place in the Excellence in Student Journalism Awards, presented by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. The following year, the National Radio Project was awarded the Best Troublemakers on the Dial / Best Of The Bay by The San Francisco Bay Guardian.
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) awarded executive producer Tena Rubio two "Excellence in Journalism" awards in 2007, for her New Orleans Now: Immigrants, Labor Rights and the Cost of Rebuilding an American City series, and Waves of Change, Rivers of Doubt, a one-hour special on water issues. New Orleans Now also won a Radio Reporting award from National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2008.
In 2009, the SPJ gave Making Contact correspondent Adelaide Chen a first place award for In-Depth Radio Reporting in the University category. Her documentary, Neither Here nor There: Bhutanese refugees in the U.S, was edited and produced by Making Contact's Pauline Bartolone. In the same year, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency gave producers Andrew Stelzer, Pauline Bartolone and Tena Rubio a PASS (Prevention for A Safer Society) award for Andrew Stelzer's documentary Breaking Through the Blue Wall of Silence, which also won an Award for Explanatory Journalism from the SPJ.
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- Bair, Madeleine (5 August 2007). "Making Contact". Oakbook. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
- "Cornel West, Paul Mason and Laura Flanders on Redefining Solidarity". Making Contact. National Radio Project. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Egyptian Women on the Frontlines of Change". Making Contact. National Radio Project. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Michelle Alexander on the New Jim Crow". Michelle Alexander on the New Jim Crow. National Radio Project. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
- "Robert Fisk: The Terror of Power and the Power of Terror". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2010-10-12.
- "Re-Humanizing Immigrants: Reflections by Maria Hinojosa". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2011-06-13.
- "Chris Hedges on the Myth of Human Progress". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2011-06-07.
- "Soul of a Citizen". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2010-03-30.
- "Dr. Joanna Macy: Gifts of Uncertainty". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2010-03-02.
- "The Will to Resist: Dahr Jamail on U.S. Soldiers and Iraq". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2009-11-19.
- "What Kind of Liberation? Women and Iraq". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2009-03-04.
- "Erica Fernandez vs. BHP Billiton Petroleum". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2009-02-25.
- "Conversation on Kashmir with Arundhati Roy and David Barsamian". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2009-02-04.
- National Radio Project (2006-10-18). "David Korten and the Great Turning". Making Contact.
- "Daniel Ellsberg – Truth-telling in a Time of War". Making Contact. National Radio Project. 2006-06-07.
- "2010 Excellence in Journalism Award winners announced". SPJ North California.