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

Dallas, TX –

It started innocently enough. My daughter needed the karaoke version of a song she wanted to sing in her school's pop show. And she needed it fast, like tomorrow morning.

Dallas, TX –

In recent weeks I have read news stories concerning bank robberies and other crimes, including violent shootings and murders. The robberies occurred in Missouri, California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Alabama. In fact, crimes like these are happening all over. These men go into banks, pull out a pistol and demand money. At least one robber was a woman. She robbed four banks.

They robbed because they needed money, the news report says.

Dallas, TX –

Today's clich goes that, after electing Barack Obama, America has entered a post racial' era. I suggest instead that we've enrolled in minority sensitivity grad school. Where, not unlike studying another language, when the challenge becomes conjugating those irregular verbs, we're mastering the minefield of multi-cultural idioms. Learning an enlightened etiquette that addresses the diversity within diversity.

Dallas, TX –

The sky yawns wide and sunny over the Franklin mountains. People shop, walk their dogs or eat at Chico's Tacos. El Paso is home; half of it, anyway. My heart pulls toward the other half in Ciudad Juarez across the Rio Grande.

My mother lives in El Paso and my father in Juarez with my two siblings from his second marriage.

Dallas, TX –

In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower designated May 1, as Law Day. Each year since then our country has set aside May 1, to celebrate the idea that as President Eisenhower put it, "The principle of guaranteed fundamental rights of individuals under the law is the heart and sinew of our Nation, and distinguishes our governmental system from the type of government that rules by might alone."

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

I'm on the sixth day of a head cold, and I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself. I require a great deal of pity when I am ill - you can say sympathy, but let's be honest: it's really pity I want.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, Texas –

I am hopeful that the City of Dallas' daytime curfew plan for teenagers will die a quiet death. It is a clueless and short-sighted idea that won't fix the truancy problem, although I know it has just enough appeal that some people might consider it a plausible solution to daytime crime. It was plausible enough for the city council to schedule two public hearings on it this spring.

Dallas, TX –

I've been defriended twice on Facebook since joining last fall. Both times over Jesus - more or less.

The first defriending came as no surprise, except that it was my first. The first is always a shock and difficult to get over.

Dallas, TX –

About two months ago, my father-in-law Morris asked me if I'd conduct his memorial service when he died. He was 85 and ill. On New Years day, he died peacefully at his home. About four years ago, Morris had the courage to reconcile with one of his sons. They had been estranged for several years. As a result of this, all of his children were there with him when he passed away.

Dallas, TX –

There's probably no better advertisement for a book than banning it. When John Steinbeck heard that a small town in Oklahoma made a bonfire of The Grapes of Wrath he said it was the most books ever sold in that town.

Dallas, TX –

President Obama flew to Colorado to sign his economic stimulus package into law. Predictably, the state's Democratic governor praised it. Even the Republican governors of Florida and California have lauded the plan, saying it will help struggling states and average Americans weather the economic downturn.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

I heard an Episcopal priest in Dallas say that the clothes and cars and gadgets we buy for ourselves are addictive, and they don't make us happy. He was partly right, and partly wrong. Acquisitions do make us happy. That's why they're addictive. We get hooked on pleasure, not pain.

Dallas, TX –

GM, Chrysler and Ford are about to present a plan to Congress to show they can be profitable - at some point. Many expect the companies just to ask for more bailout money. The companies need what money can't buy.

Dallas, TX –

I'm sure everyone has a little advice for President Barack Obama. Here's mine: Get rid of fringe radio.

Of course, you can't do that in America. But having returned recently from a trip to Rwanda, I'm a little sensitive to the fringe.

A little background:

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Congress is on the verge of passing an $850 billion (or maybe more) stimulus package that is supposed to create several million jobs quickly. Those expectations are unrealistic, and I'll explain why in a moment. What will work is to focus on the role that small businesses play in our economy and job creation. I have a few suggestions and some cautionary remarks for Members of the House and Senate.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

If you use a computer, you probably also use its spelling and grammar checkers. That software is helpful, but it does remind us that the computer is a machine and not a brain - it can't and doesn't understand linguistic nuance or variety. We need to remember its shortcomings and take its suggestions with a little salt.

Dallas, TX –

Do you believe in fate and destiny? Or do you believe that nothing has to be, that there's always another path, another way things might have worked out?

Dallas, TX –

His administration inherited a government without a deficit, and a country at peace with the world. It will leave the government trillions of dollars in debt, and in two wars. But with "Hoover-esque" approval ratings of about 25%, there is still something President George Bush can do to end his administration on a positive note. He can leave his lasting signature on an issue always close to him, even though very unpopular to his party - immigration reform.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

The news just started carrying reminders to get flu shots, but when it comes to your kids' health, the most important shots are the first ones, the vaccinations. There's good news and not so good news. Nationally, 77% of kids are getting all the recommended vaccines, However, entirely preventable diseases are making a comeback.

Dallas, TX –

Certain words appear frequently in literature, but seldom in speech. How often do we say, for example: "She stood waiting angrily, arms akimbo"?

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX – Money is educational. It teaches more than the things it buys. That is a paraphrase from Howard's End by E.M. Forster. And what does money have to teach? Or, to get closer to Forster, what exactly does money impart? To E.M. Forster, money, above all, endows its possessor with the opportunity to hold independent opinions. Virginia Woolf echoed this idea when she said that for a woman to write, she must have a little money and a room of her own.

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