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
A voter fills out an advanced ballot on July 29, 2022, at the Shawnee County Elections Office. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas primaries will select a GOP favorite again in 2024. Who will it be?

By: - June 2, 2023

Recent presidential campaign rollouts have ranged from incompetent to lackluster. They included Twitter tech meltdowns, misleading speeches and lukewarm receptions for the candidates. Nevertheless, all of this political commotion got me interested in answering this question: Which Republican presidential candidate will Kansans vote for in the state’s 2024 primary? Lucky for you, my work in […]

OPINION
The U.S. men’s national soccer team warms up before a friendly match against the national team of Uruguay on June 5, 2022, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Eric Thomas)

Adding one twist to our sports leagues would bring manic tension for fans of struggling teams

By: - May 27, 2023

Springtime as a Kansas City sports fan has been more rain than sunshine this year. Kansas City Royals fans have known heartbreak. The team’s record has earned them a place at the bottom of their division. As the Boys in Blue seek a new stadium deal, they have failed to compete, losing three games in […]

OPINION

From fellow conservative states, here’s a model for Kansas to protect kids from social media

By: - May 19, 2023

After a day of skiing in December, my then-13-year-old son made a pitch to me while we were sitting in a hot tub in Colorado. Surrounded by knee-deep snow, he asked if I would let him have his first social media app, SnapChat.  The price? He was willing to run a lap around the house […]

OPINION
Participating in the Hot Dog race during the baseball game against Blue Valley High School on April 20, Blue Valley West High School juniors Cooper David, hot dog, and Jason Michael, ketchup, fade behind senior Josh Kidd, mustard

The best Kansas student journalism provides a window into the lives and talents of teens

By: - May 12, 2023

As staffing in professional newsrooms shrinks, journalism educators in Kansas have delivered pep talks to their students. “If you don’t cover it, no one will.” “It’s our responsibility now.” “How often do you see our high school covered in the local media?” “Local news matters. And this school is local news.” In response, Kansas student […]

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From left, Samantha Kagdis and Margaret Kagdis take photos in front of their alma mater in Wamego

New grads: What made you happy in high school will make you happy in college

By: - May 5, 2023

To my daughter Ella: As you near your high school graduation, beware of the upcoming tsunami of well-worn advice from us, your elders.  Every graduation envelope, starting with the first one you got last night, threatens a dose of this. The Hallmark sentiments might come in the carefully kerned corporate typography — safe and focus-group […]

OPINION
Roger Golubski, a retired Kansas City, Kansas, police officer, is the subject of the KCUR podcast Overlooked

Podcast about Kansas City, Kansas, investigates police corruption while telling victims’ stories

By: - April 21, 2023

The story of Roger Golubski, a police officer accused of corruption and whose investigations put at least one innocent man in prison, has been a top story in Kansas City, Kansas, for the past few years. The Kansas City Star has run dozens of columns, editorials, news stories and in-depth feature stories about FBI investigations […]

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an illustration of a robot coming out of the screen of an oversized laptop surrounded by students raising their hands

Grading can overwhelm teachers as the semester ends. Does AI present a better way?

By: - April 14, 2023

Exam question No. 1: Multiple Choice Once you respond to this question on the final exam, who is going to be grading it?  Your instructor, a human being A machine, which senses the presence of #2 pencil on a Scantron sheet A large language model, essentially a labyrinth of computer code It really doesn’t matter, […]

OPINION
Teenage soccer players warm up for a match at an Elite 64 match during a national showcase in Tampa in February

Youth sports promise elite status, but they often feel like a marketing ploy

By: - April 7, 2023

The Kansas State University men’s basketball team advanced to the Elite 8 last month before falling to tournament upstarts Florida Atlantic. For first-year coach Jerome Tang, the accomplishment was exceptional, especially for a team that had a losing record last year. In those ways, playing in the fourth round was elite. However, that word — […]

OPINION
KU student listens to earbuds before bed

These tiny earbuds (and the questions they ask) are actually huge

By: - March 24, 2023

A few semesters ago, I was lecturing to a class of about 100 students here at the University of Kansas. While presenting, my habit is to wander up and down the walkways and stairways of the lecture hall like a fitness enthusiast trying to get his steps in for the day. The benefit of my […]

OPINION
University of Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self

Bill Self’s illness reminds us how much he has accomplished as Kansas head coach

By: - March 10, 2023

The University of Kansas men’s basketball team and its fans face the prospect of entering the postseason with head coach Bill Self away from the bench. It’s a striking absence — hopefully temporary — for a program that has been defined by its head coach. Self was hospitalized Thursday, forcing the hall of fame coach […]

OPINION
U.S. Supreme Court members

Current applicants may be last admitted to Kansas universities with race-based advantages

By: - March 3, 2023

For students graduating from Kansas high schools this year, the timing of the Supreme Court’s ongoing affirmative action case has been poignant. The case, which could do more than just eliminate race-based admissions to universities, will straddle landmark dates that the high school class of 2023 has marked on their calendars. First, the case was […]

OPINION

What’s next in your news feed? Artificial intelligence has one answer

By: - February 24, 2023

This week I learned about a new journalism app: Artifact. Opening it for the first time, you might find the app mundane. However, the questions it asks about the future of journalism are profound.  How will we perceive bias in journalism if artificial intelligence increasingly serves us the news we read?  Artifact’s pitch lured me […]