Commentaries | KERA News


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: | Phone: 214-740-9244 | Twitter: @srbkera

Dallas, TX – I spent my week as usual with grandson A.J., but as a bonus I had the company of my Uncle Wayne. He is 83 and A.J. is five, the same age I was in 1944 when Uncle Wayne came home on leave from the war.

He tells me how he took me to town, to the movies every day, and bought me whatever I wanted. I chose a pair of Everlast boxing gloves. I don't remember any of this but I still have one of the gloves.

Dallas, TX – Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan keeps it real. And reality TV keeps growing. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Midday.

Dallas, TX – What would war in Iraq mean to the oil market? It is no trivial question, given the shaky state of the world economy and the turmoil in Venezuela. Phil Verleger, an energy expert, believes that an attack on Iraq could send prices soaring to $40 a barrel, and they could stay there for six months to a year. Another economist puts the figure at $75.

Dallas, TX – "As long as there is poverty in the world I can never be rich, even if I have a billion dollars." So said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Midday.

Dallas, TX – A few weeks after September 11, our neighbor across the street dug a hole in his front yard, planted a 12-foot flagpole, rigged a floodlight to shine up at it, and raised a large American flag. His gesture wasn't born of the easy patriotism that led so many people to slap flag decals on their cars. He had two children at West Point - one a senior who has since graduated, and one who is a junior this fall. Our neighbors know something about sacrifice and service.

Dallas, TX – I could tell the joke hit a nerve with my fellow Latinos because the laughter was spontaneous - and uneasy. We were crammed into a tiny auditorium to see a comic from L.A., and the Chicano comedian had just acted out a scene about authorities who mistake a Latino for Osama Bin Laden.

Dallas, TX – In 1956, a professor named Anthony Jones wanted to convert to Judaism and join Temple Emanu El, the congregation in which I was confirmed. He had studied with Rabbi Levi Olan and had the Rabbi's unqualified support. The only unusual thing was that Professor Jones was African American, a Negro in the parlance of the day.

Dallas, TX – Well, you know we really can't complain. We asked for the truth and we're getting it. But what does surprise me a little is how the market is reacting. I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays.

Dallas, TX – "Accounting: the system of recording and summarizing business and financial transactions and analyzing, verifying, and reporting the results." I'm Maxine Shapiro with KERA Marketplace Middays. That was the definition of accounting, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Please note the word "verify."