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

Study Up For 'Think': Marijuana By Numbers

Jul 24, 2014
Brett Levin / Flickr CC

With the legal weed market starting up in Colorado and Washington this year, marijuana is being widely discussed among scientists and researchers across the country. Today at noon on Think, we'll be speaking with Dr. Francesca Filbey and Dr. Robert Morris, two researchers at UT Dallas who've recently completed studies about pot, addiction and crime.

Muhammad Ghafari / Wikimedia CC

During the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, many Americans thought the abrupt change of the political climate in the region would bring lasting improvements. But was this optimism justified? Today at noon on 'Think', we'll be speaking with Juan Cole, author of The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East.

afagen / Flickr

The United States Census Bureau reported that Asians were the fastest growing race or ethnic group in 2012, with a growth rate of 2.9%. But as the Asian American population continues to grow, what does it mean to identify as a part of that group? Today on Think at 1 p.m., Citizen University founder and former Clinton advisor Eric Liu joins Krys Boyd to talk about his new book A Chinaman’s Chance: One Family’s Journey and the Chinese American Dream.

Gordon Hyde / Wikimedia CC

Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have entered the U.S. in recent months illegally - and it's being declared a humanitarian crisis. Today at noon on 'Think' we'll be speaking with Aviva Chomsky, author of Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal.

Study Up For 'Think': The American Warfare State

Jun 26, 2014
U.S. Army / Flickr CC

Despite concerns over deficit and unnecessary wars, Congress spends over $700 billion on the military each year, as much as the rest of the world combined. Today at 1 p.m. on 'Think', Krys Boyd will be speak with professor Rebecca Thorpe, author of The American Warfare State: The Domestic Politics of Military Spending.

Each year on June 20th, World Refugee Day recognizes the resilience of forcibly displaced people across the globe. Commentator William Holston says refugees are closer to you than you know.

Lian Chang / Flickr CC

Ever wonder about who's working behind the stage at a Radiohead concert? Or who's involved in translating negotiations for ambassadors at the UN? Today at noon on 'Think', we'll be talking about the people whose work is barely noticed with author David Zweig and his new book Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work In An Age of Relentless Self-Promotion.

KERA

About 800 participants from around the world discussed the future of the urban world at the New Cities Summit in Dallas. Commentator Lee Cullum considers the summit’s theme: “Re-imagining Cities.”

ezio_armando / Flickr

There may be old truth to the cliche saying, “That what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” The classical ideology of Stoicism associates that idea to all sorts of challenges we face. Ryan Holiday joins Krys Boyd on “Think” today at 1 p.m. to discuss the power of this philosophy and his new book The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph.

Bialy at Flickr

The war in Mexico between the state and the drug cartels has claimed over 60,000 lives since 2006.

At noon today on Think, author Michael Deibert will discuss his new book In The Shadow of Saint Death: The Gulf Cartel and The Price of America’s Drug War In Mexico.

Humorists Don't Walk The Line

Apr 7, 2014

Writer, commentator and former educator Tom Dodge also has been called a humorist in some circles. It's not a word he takes lightly. Then again, maybe he should.

William Holston, Commentator

All week, NPR has reported on life along the U.S.-Mexico border. In his commentary, William Holston focuses on one particular group of immigrants growing in number in North Texas.

The parliament of the breakaway republic of Crimea has formally asked Russia to annex it. Crimeans over the weekend voted to split from Ukraine. And the political unrest there has commentator Lee Cullum thinking back to an earlier revolution.

India's Lost Decade

Feb 11, 2014

A recent visit left commentator Lee Cullum with strong impressions of India, and not all of them positive.

Homelessness: Putting A Human Face On An Inhuman Condition

Jan 21, 2014

Homelessness is an abstract news story to most of us.  But commentator Rawlins Gilliland explains how coming to know someone homeless has made it personal to him.

www.nyri.info

None ranked among Billboard magazine’s top 10 artists for 2013, but commentator David Okamoto says the year was unique for Texas musicians, established and new.

A growing trend at America’s colleges: Humanities majors are on the decline. Commentator Lee Cullum explains why that's cause for concern.

Watch For The Look Of Love. It's All Around You.

Dec 17, 2013

As we celebrate the holiday season, commentator Rawlins Gilliland reflects on the many faces of life and love.

Along with the food and gift-giving, the holiday season is also a time for reflection and gratitude for all we have. The same holds true for commentator Diane Brown, but it took her a while to reach that point.

During Busy Holiday Season, Marvel At The Poetry Of Life

Nov 19, 2013

As the holiday season begins to escalate, commentator Rawlins Gilliland sees poetry all around us.

Their services usually come at a cost. But commentator and attorney William Holston says National Pro Bono week (Oct. 20-26) reminds us lawyers also put in many hours on a volunteer basis.

The Day Kennedy Died In Dallas

Oct 15, 2013

As the world acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas, commentator Rawlins Gilliland shares his memory of a thrilling day that turned tragic.

Many of us grow up sharing a home with sisters and brothers, but commentator Rawlins Gilliland says it sometimes seems the only thing we have in common is our parents.

Katrina Evacuees: There's Still No Place Like Home

Aug 29, 2013

Eight years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed New Orleans. Commentator Rosalyn Story recently returned with friends to find a city vibrant, and full of energy. But she says some who settled in North Texas have no desire to live in New Orleans again.

Here's To The Class of '63

Aug 20, 2013

Millions of American students are returning to school this time of year. Commentator Rawlins Gilliland will be among them, 50 years after graduation from his North Dallas High School.

The Poet Who Knew George Wallace

Jul 23, 2013

50 years ago, then-Alabama Governor George Wallace pledged "segregation forever!" He later did just the opposite, and commentator Rawlins Gilliland was there to witness some of the change.

Memories Of Mandela

Jul 18, 2013

Volunteers across North Texas will help observe Nelson Mandela’s 95th birthday with the 67 Minutes project – a minute of public service for every year the Nobel laureate’s spent as a human rights lawyer, prisoner, peacemaker and as South Africa’s first democratically elected president. Commentator Lee Cullum shares memories of meeting Mandela a year before he won the position.

American Freedom Through An Immigrant's Eyes

Jul 3, 2013

As a lawyer for Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, William Holston has represented immigrants to this country since 1999. He explains in this commentary how immigrants have helped him see our country’s freedoms with fresh perspective.

What You Need To Know About Alzheimer's

Jun 28, 2013
ABB Photo / shutterstock.com

More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's Disease, but recognizing it can be difficult at first as commentator Pamela Ice found out.

Moonstruck With Poetic Passions

Jun 18, 2013

The Summer Solstice on June 21 celebrates the year’s longest day.  But commentator Rawlins Gilliland says he longs for life after dark.

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