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:
- Bret Wooten’s Dark Secrets of the Classroom, which won a national award from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI).
- William Holston’s Confronting Bigotry In Others And Ourselves.
- Lee Cullum's Remembering Muhammad Ali.
- Diane Brown's We Had A Rocky Start, But My Mother-In-Law Gave Me A Precious Gift.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 214-740-9244 | Twitter: @srbkera