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 –

Dallas, TX –

In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - we all surely remember - Jim and Huck, early in their travels on the river, come upon a wrecked house floating down the Mississippi. They board it and find a dead man, shot in the back. The corpse looks so ghastly that Jim covers it with rags. Only much later does he tell Huck that the man was Huck's father.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

One of the topics on the Congressional agenda is taxes - particularly raising taxes. So I thought I'd add my comments, from the perspective of someone who has started and runs a small business. Our little company only has eight employees, several full time independent consultants and a few interns every semester. We're just celebrating our 20th birthday!

Dallas, TX –

Hugo Chavez versus George W. Bush. It sounds at first like something from Gilbert and Sullivan - one of them rolling along, seemingly unstoppable, toward the mantle of president for life, the other flailing his way toward the final curtain, anxious, before it's too late, to make good on his early promise to look south for friends and vital interests. But Chavez goes on railing against imperialism and the drive toward a Latin American empire by the United States.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

I thought Ray Nasher would go on forever. He had the kind of stamina and vitality that could make a man immortal. Ray had a joi de vivre that kept in check the discipline with which he cared for his healh. Fanatical fitness held no appeal for him.

Dallas, TX –

I must admit I don't connect much with my alma mater. The only things Baptist about me are some old friends and the diploma in my office. But I hated to see Baylor University theoretically knocked out of the running for the George W. Bush Presidential Library especially when the fit seems as perfect as tortilla chips and Velveeta.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Texas author Larry McMurtry once said that "doggedness" was his best trait. It was also, he said, his worst trait.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

A friend once joked that he resented my "insinuendo." That word "insinuendo," which combines insinuate and innuendo, is called a "portmanteau" word that is, one that fuses two words into a new word.

Dallas, TX –

A recent news report said more American women are living without husbands - meaning an increasing number of women opt to remain unmarried, or to live with their boyfriends. And women who do marry are doing so later in life. In 2005, 51% of women were living without a spouse. Compare that to 35% in 1950 and you can see a major tipping point in relationships is occurring.

Dallas, TX –

Whenever you start a good rant about our celebrity-drenched culture, someone is bound to note that we've always had celebrities, so what's new? And, they say, if you don't like these vain, irritating creatures, just ignore them.

Dallas, TX –

A documented characteristic of Hispanic voters is that no one political party can really claim us as all their own. For Latinos, it's never totally been about the elephant or the donkey, as it has been about the man.

Now, it is also about the mujer (woman).

With Hillary Rodham Clinton joining the ranks of presidential wannabes, the race didn't just get interesting for Democratic voters it got hard for Latina Democratic voters.

Dallas, TX –

It's interesting that the nautical expression "cut and run" should now be tied to such a dry and dusty place as Iraq. The expression was born at sea at least as early as the 1700s and by the mid-1800s became a metaphor for turning tail in the face of difficulty.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

A note circulating on the Internet claims that the abbreviation "Xmas" is an attack on Christianity and a conspiracy to remove Christ from Christmas. The note doesn't say who is conspiring but urges readers not to use the abbreviation or to patronize any business that uses "Xmas" in its advertisements.

Dallas, TX –

Almost every great thinker from Aristotle to Freud has wrestled with the question of happiness. The Declaration of Independence famously enshrined the right to pursue happiness, though it included no guarantee on catching it, as one of mankind's self-evident rights.

But while it may be self-evident that we desire happiness, it is not self-evident that we know how to pursue it, and we're often very bad at predicting how we will feel once we've caught it.

Dallas, TX –

It's dismaying to face the holidays with so much ugliness emanating from what we once called the "cradle of civilization" or what Christians referred to as "the holy land." The only help for it, it seems it me, aside from real peace coming to this part of the world, is beauty. This is no trivial or superficial pursuit. "Beauty teaches," wrote Virginia Woolf. "Beauty is a disciplinarian." What did she mean? What are we to learn from beauty?

Dallas, TX –

Did Republicans lose the House and Senate because of the war in Iraq? The war certainly didn't help, but for many of us, the failure of Republicans to govern, to lead, to fulfill their promises is symbolized by their piggy behavior. I'm talking about earmarks.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

I mentioned in a recent KERA commentary a speaker who had said that someone had one foot in the bucket mixing "one foot in the grave" with "kick the bucket."

That blooper reminded me of other "foot" mixaphors: for example, the college student who described a place where "the hand of man had never set foot." And a radio newscast that said people selling Indian art were making money "hand over foot" instead of hand over fist.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

I recently read of a lawyer whose talent was "untying the Gordian knots typical in tangled legal matters." That was good alliteration, but bad metaphor. The point of the Gordian knot was that it could not be untied.

Dallas, TX –

The names change, but the endless dredging of the past goes on: George W. Bush's DWI, Henry Hyde's extramarital affair, Bill Clinton's collegiate pot smoking, Ann Richards' alleged drug use, Kinky Friedman's racial slurs .

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being dragged back into the 60s and 70s, trying to balance someone's petty crime or moral lapse at the age of 23 vs. the potential good he or she might do if elected now.

Dallas, TX –

House Republicans, in their quest for immigration reform, have adopted as their mantra, "If at first, you don't succeed. Try, try again."

Not to be discouraged by the Senate's dismissal of their original immigration bill earlier this year, House Republicans have broken down their larger bill into smaller bite-size pieces.

Dallas, TX –

I've always craved adventure, and after college began tramping around the globe, even stowing away on airplanes in joyous pursuit of ongoing excitement; sleeping in the Parthenon, climbing Diamond Head volcano on impulse. My Mother said on her deathbed, "It isn't cancer that killed me. It was your twenties!"

Pages