Commentaries | KERA News

Commentaries

KERA has refocused its approach to commentaries on the radio and the web. We aim to explore the issues of the day, but not in the type of pieces you’d routinely find on op-ed pages of newspapers. Instead, we do it through storytelling and personal experiences.  

Diversity is a primary goal – across politics, ethnicity, age, geography. KERA aims to sound more like North Texas, with a wide variety of voices covering a wide variety of topics.

Immediacy is key. When reflecting on a news event, the piece should be turned around within a couple of days. Airing more than a week after a news event is often too late. And, when a news event can be anticipated, we try to air the commentary the day of that event.

Brevity is crucial. The piece should not exceed three minutes. Read aloud and time the commentary before submitting it.

So is food for thought.  A good radio commentary gives the media consumer something to think about well after its presentation ends, not just the writer’s point of view.

Here are a few examples that fit the criteria:

How To Submit

Submit commentaries by email, with a suggested two-sentence host introduction and a one-sentence “tagline” for the host to read that describes the commentator (Ex: “Jane Doe is a writer from Dallas.”) Please include your complete contact information: email address, phone number, Twitter and Facebook handles.

Whom To Contact

Sam Baker, Senior Editor

Email: sbaker@kera.org | Phone: 214-740-9244 | Twitter: @srbkera

Courtesy Lauren Menking

Like many, over the holidays this year I got around to rewatching Love Actually. I’ll be straightforward: I have no stake in the great Love Actually internet debate. I think it’s a fine film. It makes me laugh. It makes me cry. And that’s pretty much the extent of my feelings on the matter…except for one scene.

Museum Tower/Sotheby's International Realty

Members of the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund will vote in November whether to reduce their benefits. If the answer is "yes," the chairman of pension fund board calls it only a first step toward saving the troubled retirement system. But commentator Lee Cullum says something has to be done.

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2016 marked five years since the death of a special volunteer in Richardson schools. Anne Foster reflects on the example Art Middlebrook left behind about the importance of public schools.

Commentary: Confronting Bigotry In Others And Ourselves

Jul 22, 2016
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Recent shootings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Orlando, Florida have raised concerns about racism and bigotry. The head of the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas suggests the solution to these problems may start within ourselves. William Holston points to his own background as an example.

COURTESY OF NICOLE STEWART

Three years ago, as Wendy Davis was filibustering Senate Bill 5 in Austin, Nicole Stewart was facing a difficult decision in Dallas. Five months into her pregnancy, doctors said if she delivered her baby, he probably would not survive.

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Just as fans did for his fights in the '60s and '70s, people in Muhammad Ali's hometown of Louisiville, Kentucky, lined up for hours for tickets to a public service for the boxing great.  His recent death reminded commentator Lee Cullum of her first encounter with Ali in Dallas. 

Commentary: When Cuba Became Personal

Mar 30, 2016
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Barack Obama recently became the first U.S. president to visit Cuba in nearly 90 years. The island was also on commentator Stephen Whitley’s wish list of places to visit. But Cuba always seemed out of reach until the recent easing of restrictions on travel. He learned some lessons during a Spring Break trip there.

Commentary: Why We Need More Lawyers Like Atticus Finch

Feb 25, 2016
Flickr.com

Writer Harper Lee died last Friday at age 89. But her classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, lives on. With more than 40 million copies sold, it’s never been out of print. Lee’s tale of racial injustice in the South had a major impact on contributor William Holston -- in particular, its central character. 

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Polls shows interpretations of what being a feminist means vary across age groups today, but the fact that the conversation continues likely pleases the person who did much to raise the nation’s consciousness about the issue.

Commentary: Dark Secrets In The Classroom

Nov 11, 2015
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His wife is a longtime teacher, but commentator Bret Wooten says it was the time he spent volunteering in her classroom that opened his eyes to her world.  

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