Author

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas

Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association, a nonprofit that supports student journalism throughout the state. He also teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He lives in Leawood with his wife and two children.

OPINION

Audio Astra: A sparkling grab-bag of eclectic audio stories

By: - January 21, 2022

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. School is back in session at KU, so my life is a bit frantic with prepping for the semester. Yet this week presented so […]

OPINION
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says Kansas experienced a 54% surge in drug overdose fatalities in the first six months of 2021 compared to that period in 2020. KDHE attributed about 45% of those deaths to ingestion of fentanyl, which is often added to other drugs such as cocaine and heroin. (Getty Images)

Audio Astra: The never-ending, slithering specter of opioids

By: - January 14, 2022

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. “Empire of Pain” Patrick Radden Keefe, April 13, 2021 Purdue’s $4.5 Billion Opioid Settlement Got Thrown Out. Now What?  The Journal, Dec. 22, 2021 […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: How we ignored the most popular COVID prevention — testing

By: - January 7, 2022

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. “A COVID Testing Crisis, Again” The Daily, Dec. 22, 2021 Have you read the news accounts of Americans protesting COVID-19 testing sites? The scores […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: An audio time capsule of Kansas news for 2021

By: - December 24, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. People often ask me for my podcast recommendations, because I am insufferable about quoting podcasts in conversations. The number of podcasts that I hear […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Podcasts provide recipe for post-pandemic conversations

By: - December 17, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Lee Norman on managing the pandemic and being fired Kansas Reflector Podcast, Dec. 13, 2021 Painting a brighter day for Quindaro Real Humans by […]

OPINION
Hundreds of people protested Saturday outside the Capitol to oppose federal mandates for COVID-19 vaccinations. Inside the statehouse, a special legislative committee gathered testimony on alleged government overreach during the pandemic. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Audio Astra: We often say ‘political’ divide when we mean ‘cultural’ divide

By: - December 11, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. The Ghislaine Edition The Slate Political Gabfest, Dec. 9 Where do we go from here on COVID-19? Chillin’ in the Statehouse, Dec. 6 A […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: A Kansas native and his messy road map for compromise on guns

By: - December 3, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Former Gun Industry Insider On His Battle Against the NRA Fresh Air, Nov. 22, 2021 Gunfight: My Battle against the Industry that Radicalized America […]

OPINION
A new book examines the 1981 collapse of the Hyatt Regency Hotel's suspended walkways, which killed 114 people in Kansas City, Mo. The image shows the third floor walkway and remaining steel rods of the failed second and fourth floor skywalks. (Lee Lowery Jr. via Wikimedia Commons)

Audio Astra: A morbid playlist of otherwise unrelated audio stories

By: - November 26, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. This week, three podcasts tackle a single topic in very different ways. The theme? How to investigate the cause of death. Some of these […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Expertise has been escorted from the building

By: - November 19, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. The Public Health Officials Under Siege The Daily, Nov. 11, 2021 TPiH 001 – JoAnn Rivera That Podcast in Hutch, Nov. 11, 2021 In […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Thoughtful thanks to our pandemic-era educators in Kansas

By: - November 12, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Dear Kansas public teachers and school staff:  This is a thank you note.  It was not assigned. Or described in your syllabus. You don’t […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Candid stories of recovery call us to action

By: - November 5, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Jacci Espinoza That Podcast in Hutch, Oct. 28, 2021 During the past few years I have recorded dozens of lectures for my students at […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: A national political lie prevents rational local decisions in Kansas

By: - October 29, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Seaman High School name controversy Kansas Reflector, Oct. 25, 2021 During a backyard conversation the other night with two friends, one of them asked […]