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: When trickle down effects become a waterfall

By: - September 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. When daily newspapers shed jobs during the last few decades, education reporters took a hard hit. The layoffs left one or two reporters to […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: COVID insecurity in many different forms

By: - September 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. COVID-19 has become so ingrained in our news coverage that I didn’t realize essentially all of the stories in this week’s Audio Astra are […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Experts on Kansas tax incentives, wildlife earn our ears with authority, details

By: - September 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. The cast of scientists, doctors, academics and other experts in my playlist this week is staggering. I hope you join me in rewarding the […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: From sublime to newsy, from speculative to touristy, all in podcasts

By: - August 27, 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. Writing a headline for this weekly recap can be easy when there are tidy connections or overlaps between one podcast and another. Not so […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Honesty vs. ignorance with COVID, plus redistricting and school censorship

By: - August 20, 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. To start this week’s audio recap, let’s do a comparison of two COVID-focused podcasts. On one podcast, we have Joseph LeMaster, the Johnson County […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Athletics and finances in higher education, plus foster care concerns

By: - August 13, 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, I have been frequently quoting the Kansas podcasts that I heard. Of course, that is helped by living in a sports-crazed family […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Civil rights, political divisions, a long-ago zoo, school standards

By: - August 6, 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 variety and quality of Kansas audio this week is the best collection since I started this recap in May. While I would normally […]

OPINION
Outgoing Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, ends a 30-year career in the Legislature with a plea that be vigilant protecting the vision and the founding principles that have made America the most prosperous and entrepreneurial nation on earth.(Kansas Reflector)

Audio Astra: Political conversations on race, abortion and COVID-19

By: - July 30, 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. Kansas politics overwhelms other topics in the audio reporting space, but especially this week as podcasts from the Reflector, KCUR and the Topeka Capital-Journal […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Concerns for workers, unvaccinated patients, bird bureaucracy

By: - July 23, 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. Listening to podcasts from around the state provides some unexpected connections from week to week and from one podcast to another. This week, those […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Saving the planet, home to vultures, combatting COVID-19

By: - July 16, 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. Reporting on climate change is a staple in coastal areas, but the topic emerged a few times this week in the audio reporting in […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Right-wing extremism, Medicaid holdouts, Confederate monuments, new media

By: - July 9, 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’s listening is brief in duration but packed with consequence. Listeners can blaze through all of the excerpts below in less than an […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Black farmers, pools for the people, safe spaces

By: - July 2, 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. Through coverage of reparations, sexual identity and even public pools, three public radio segments this week document how Black folks are advocating for change […]