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 –

Some days it's hard to get through the Sunday paper because of the accumulated weight of all the bad news. Spending about an hour last week with the Dallas Morning News and the New York Times, I counted more than 15 stories using the word "crisis."

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Warren Buffet, legendary founder of Berkshire Hathaway, recently published a letter labeling the issue of pensions promised government workers, teachers, police and firefighters as a "bomb", a time bomb. You're thinking, well, I'm not a public servant, why should I care? Because the financial implications affect you. You're the tax payer!

Dallas, TX –

When I was in school, a friend's dad died from a heart attack and I remember her asking our teacher if the heart and the soul were the same thing. Her father had been waiting for a heart transplant when he died - something relatively new then- and she wondered if someone else's heart meant her father would get someone else's soul. It was a fascinating topic for sixth graders, believe me.

Dallas, TX –

Every campaign season produces plenty of heated rhetoric and flying charges about so-called flip-flops. Opposition research teams dig back into their rival's distant past to find changes of position so minute you need scientific instruments to detect them.

Dallas, TX –

I once visited a Frank Lloyd Wright home filled with paintings by Matisse. The house, that art, epitomized "modern". Yet both were a hundred years old. I decided, then as now, anything "modern" conveys an emerging dialect not yet widely spoken.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Kara Walker made her mark upon the art world early. In 1997, at just 27, she became the youngest artist ever to receive a MacArthur "genius" grant. Since then, her work has seen its share of controversy, and she has alienated a vocal group of older generation African American artists who object to the inflammatory racial images Walker uses.

Dallas, TX –

Janis Joplin once sang that "...freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." As much as I like Kris Kristofferson's song, "Me and Bobby McGee", I don't really think that those words are true. The people who have sacrificed for our freedom here in America have had a lot to lose and some of them lost everything.

Dallas, TX –

Last month's New York Times feature on the Denton music scene boasted only a passing mention of Centro-Matic, the low-fi, high-octane brainchild of singer-songwriter Will Johnson that has spent a decade proving melodic, moving rock music can sound glorious without sounding pretty.

Dallas, TX –

Ah, those teenage school days of summer yore when our parents encouraged us to, "Get a job". And I did, scoring big time! House sitting for a wealthy neighbor named Susan. What a gig! Lounging around the palatial pool. Raiding that lavishly stocked fridge. Raking in the big bucks tending "Fluffy", the pre-teen daughter Michelle's new pup.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Inflation is back. So says the International Monetary Fund as well as the Economist magazine. In China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Argentina and Venezuela, prices have risen from over the past year from eight to 29 percent. In the United States, inflation looks modest by comparison - 3.9 percent.

Dallas, TX –

We've heard a lot about Burma this week. I wonder if people know that there are over 1200 people from Burma who live in the Dallas area. Burma, is ruled by a highly authoritarian military regime. This is a country where the Nobel Peace Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi remains under house arrest.

Dallas, TX –

May 18th is a very bad day. Why, you ask? Well, because it's the birthday of one Thomas Midgley, Jr.. Who the heck is Thomas Midgley, Jr.,you ask? Good question. But because I have a couple of minutes left to fill, I'm not going to answer it right away.

Dallas, TX –

If there's one thing this country needs this year it is a clear winner in the presidential election. Nerves are too raw, given the bank-and-housing crisis, plus the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to withstand another bout of uncertainty at the polls.

Dallas, TX –

With national security on everyone's mind and the average retail price of gasoline at all-time inflation-adjusted high of more than $3.50 a gallon, in recent years analysts have touted Brazil as an example the U.S. should follow on the path to "energy independence."

Dallas, TX –

The loudest buzz at the annual South by Southwest music conference in Austin is usually reserved for the newest acts. But last month, amidst the blog-ignited hoopla over Vampire Weekend, the Ting Tings and MGMT, the reunion of a short-lived Pearland, Texas new wave trio called the Judy's generated equally giddy anticipation.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

A year has passed since 32 teachers and students were gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech.

The images of the young gunman with a gun in each hand in one photo and a gun to his head in another seem to have faded, as details do until they apply directly to us, it seems.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

About six months ago, out of the blue, I was added to the Zogby International polling list. Every couple of weeks I get a 40-50 question survey on which I help reflect the collective wisdom, or sometimes confusion, of the American people.

Each survey has a different emphasis, from immigration to presidential politics to the media to consumer spending, but one question is always on every survey, and here it is:

Dallas, TX –

So this is how it feels to live in the epicenter of presidential politics. Last week, I literally ran out the front door and in 20 minutes met up with the crowd hoping to see Senator Barack Obama at Reunion Arena.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

After the holidays, most of us are wearing a few extra pounds. I certainly ate like a starved hound in a steak house dumpster. But what about my aged beef peers to whom an over-eating frenzy is not a seasonal fiesta but rather, an ongoing orgy of excess; all the while equating the word 'relaxation' with sedentary stationary mock paraplegia?

Dallas, TX –

Not since the shooting of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel a dozen years ago has a political assassination been so fraught with bad fortune. The brutal death of Nobel Peace Price winner Rabin led straight to chaos, and the killing of Pakistan's former prime minister Benazir Bhutto while she campaigned for a comeback threatens to do the same.

Dallas, TX –

F. Scott Fitzgerald said of the rich; they're "not like you or me". He's right. And from what I know, that's neither a blessing nor a curse.

Dallas, TX –

When does a rescue produce the opposite result, hurting the very people it's designed to help? Think of this as the law of unintended consequences, and it's what will happen if congress "helps" the million or so people at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.

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