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

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.

One of the newest ideas for how to reform failing schools is called “parent trigger laws.”  Commentator Anne Foster has long pushed for more parental involvement, but she questions this approach.

It’s human nature at any age to seek heroes with whom we self-identify.  But commentator Rawlins Gilliland questions how this applies when would-be role models remain invisible.

We should all strive to use correct grammar, but commentator William Lawrence says it’s very important when it comes to political speech.

Summertime, fresh air, blue skies can bring to mind healthy fresh produce, though you don’t expect it to happen near downtown Dallas! Commentator Joan Davidow shares her new weekly farming experiences and looks at how we could all take steps to a better life right in our own back yard. 

Pages