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

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.

American retailers have refused to join an international plan to improve safety conditions at garment factories in Bangladesh. That includes Walmart. Thinking back to a meeting this past winter, the retail giant's stance came as no surprise to commentator Lee Cullum.

Commentary: A Cottage For Sale

May 21, 2013

While many of us think the world of drugs is a foreign war, commentator Rawlins Gilliland says the heavy combat hits close to home.

Help Wanted: Hackers

May 8, 2013
Pavel Ignatov / shutterstock.com

The Obama administration this week accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors. Commentator Rena Pederson says it’s just one example of a growing problem – one that could be at least partly addressed in the classroom.

Defining Love And Marriage

Apr 18, 2013

While many Americans question the definition of marriage, commentator Rawlins Gilliland says there’s no question how he defines love.  

As Britain's "Iron Lady" was laid to rest Wednesday, commentator Lee Cullum looked back on her personal encounters with former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Why Human Rights Should Be Part Of Immigration Reform

Apr 16, 2013

  

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators – the so-called “Gang of Eight" – today is expected unveil a proposal for immigration reform. The proposal has been in negotiations for weeks. But commentator William Holston feels something’s been missing from the discourse on this issue.

Optics: Shedding Light On What We Shouldn't See

Apr 8, 2013

Trends in media-speak come and go. Commentator Paula LaRocque's ready to say goodbye to one in particular.

Horsemeat: The Yuck Factor

Mar 21, 2013

The current scandal in Europe over the discovery of horsemeat in beef lasagna products reminded commentator Diane Brown of an incident at a restaurant in Switzerland a few years ago

The Before And After Club

Mar 19, 2013

In life, we can expect to bury a parent, suffer a job loss or a failed marriage.  But commentator Rawlins Gilliland ponders when something that only happens to ‘other people’ happens to us. 

The Power Of The Simile

Mar 15, 2013

  

Dependable as a  dictionary, commentator Paula LaRocque explores the power of the simile.

America's Next "Greatest Generation?"

Feb 19, 2013

While many question the future of the American dream, commentator Rawlins Gilliland reflects on how he believes our newest generations will rank as its guardians.

Ending The Silence About Rape

Feb 15, 2013
William Holston, Commentator

Commentator William Holston faces numerous issues in his work at the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, but he says the issue of sexual assault requires immediate worldwide attention.

Gun Control: What Are You Willing To Give Up?

Feb 12, 2013

Recent mass shootings have brought calls for new gun laws and other efforts to curb violence.  Commentator Chris Tucker says that one defining aspect of American culture will make such changes very difficult.

Depression: A Glimpse Inside

Jan 15, 2013

Most of us are reluctant to acknowledge personal issues regarding mental health, but commentator Rawlins Gilliland believes denial is a grave concern.

Ruckus Raisers: Texas Music Top 10 Of 2012

Dec 31, 2012
themusicslut.com

David Okamoto takes his  annual year-end look at the best music stemming from Texas, and once again, it's a mixed bag.

Homeless For The Holidays

Dec 18, 2012

While holiday traditions celebrate family and friends, commentator Rawlins Gilliland shares how Christmas became the catalyst for him to reach a mentally lost and homeless soul.

With the Election Day a month behind us, there will be fewer chances to hear some words and phrases commentator Paula LaRocque would probably prefer never to hear again.

Reasons To Give Thanks

Nov 21, 2012

The Thanksgiving holiday for many means time off from work spent at home with loved ones and a large meal to mark the occasion. But commentator William Holston notes some aren’t as thankful for that and more as they could be.

Thankful And Thoughtful

Nov 20, 2012

As Thanksgiving approaches, commentator Rawlins Gilliland is thankful for thoughtful inspirations.

Dallas Museum of Art

There’s always some of the Dallas Museum of Art’s vast contemporary collection on view, but it’s more than a year since contemporary art has taken over the Barrel Vault – the spacious arched main gallery of the museum.  Commentator Joan Davidow applauds the unlikely, yet rewarding groupings of art from post World War II to the present. 

The Critical Thinking Crisis

Nov 7, 2012

You'd think someone who earns admission into college is ready to handle the work they are assigned. But commentator Stephen Whitley doesn't agree.

Whether or not it leads to real change after the election, commentator Lee Cullum says at least one group in society did get the spotlight during this year's presidential campaign. 

A record number of Texans have registered to vote in the November election. But commentator Rawlins Gilliland wonders why some who could or should take part remain disengaged.

Tom Pribyl / KERA

We can rebuild him. We have the technology.   We can make him better than he was before.  Better.  Stronger.  But might we also think about making him ... browner?

With the annual South By Southwest Festival, Austin’s seen by many as the state’s musical focal point. Commentator David Okamoto remembers when that attention focused farther north. 

Today’s theoretical advancements are profound but commentator Rawlins Gilliland suggests that historic precedent is a sobering remembrance of things past.

LoJoLu Photography / Flickr.com

This time of year, many families find themselves in a period of transition as kids depart for college. Commentator Chris Tucker has these thoughts on a big change in his life.

Texas already bans the use of cell phones for calls and texting for bus drivers and novice drivers (during the first 12 months). We ban hand-held cell phones and texting for all drivers in school zones. There’ve been calls to do more nationwide, but commentator Merrie Spaeth questions if it would really work.

Ed Yourdon / Flickr.com

State law now requires high school athletes who show concussion symptoms to be pulled from competition and receive written medical clearance from a medical provider before returning. Dr. Munro Cullum has helped design concussion testing programs for teams in the NFL and NHL for more than a decade. He wishes more athletes would take the requirement seriously.

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