Do you have a story you want to tell for BirdNote Daily? This guide is for you! We’re looking for science writers and radio producers to bring new stories to our show. People of color, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply, as are others who bring diverse backgrounds and experiences to their work.
Our rates vary with the complexity of the final story, depending on the work required from you. Keep in mind that we’re looking for audio producers with their own recording equipment to narrate and conduct interviews. We ask for at least two work samples which demonstrate your experience.
- Script that we produce and have our narrators read - $175-200
- Script narrated and recorded by you* - $300-350
- Script narrated by you, featuring interview tape or field tape, all recorded by you* - $400-500
* Only for experienced audio producers with their own recording equipment
We can support payments to contractors in 137 countries, through Bill.com. Please check the list to see if your country is listed, and if it's not, contact us to discuss alternative arrangements.
Most of our shows are scripts read by our narrators, and we have the most open spots on our schedule for this type of show. You are welcome to submit more than one pitch for a scripted show per month. We have fewer open spots for shows featuring interviews or field tape.
We recognize that not every pitch will fall neatly into one of these buckets. A script that you write and we produce may still involve extensive research and interviews to get the story right. If your pitch is accepted, we will consider all production elements when determining the rate.
What We’re Looking For
We love stories that:
- Are evergreen
- Show an unexpected side of a bird people think they know
- Highlight new and unexpected voices in and around the world of birds
- Are irreverent and wacky
- Convey scientific research in a fun, easy-to-understand way
- Spotlight conservation efforts that are working — even better if listeners can get involved
A few things to keep in mind:
BirdNote Daily has been on the air for over sixteen years and has more than 1,700 episodes. Before submitting a pitch, double-check that we haven’t already done a story on it by searching our archive, or that your pitch has a substantial new angle.
The show is produced well in advance of when it airs. If your story is highly time-sensitive, it probably isn’t a good fit for BirdNote. If it’s tied to a holiday or specific time of year (e.g., fall migration), that’s fine! Just keep in mind that stories need to be in process two months before their air date.
Personal narratives without a strong connection to broader conservation themes are not likely to be accepted. We do not commission works of poetry or fiction.
If you have a story that relies on a specific bird sound, make sure there’s a high-quality recording of it. Is it available in the Macaulay Library or on Xeno-Canto, or do you have a recording you’ve made of it that we can use?
BirdNote Daily runs 1:45 (one minute forty-five seconds) exactly. We’ve found that to be about 200 words on average, depending on music, interview clips, and bird sounds.
Submit your pitch through the form below. We’ll get back to you within four weeks.
If we green light your story, we’ll establish a production timeline and include it in your contract.