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
Big 12 logo plus 4

Big 12 conference realignment driven by same brutal economics as youth sports

By: - August 11, 2023

Get ready, Big 12 sports fans, for Kansas State vs. Utah and the University of Kansas vs. Arizona. The new Big 12 is coming in next year. In the aftermath of the PAC-12 crumbling — and losing four of its teams to the Big 12 — you might wonder why the schools migrated toward our […]

OPINION
An illustration of students in a classroom with hands raised

College admissions news shakes up our understanding of how to ‘get in’ — or does it?

By: - July 28, 2023

With less than a month remaining until classes begin for the fall 2023 semester at universities around Kansas, admissions policies have taken the center stage through a Supreme Court ruling and a landmark academic study. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court gutted affirmative action, while research this week revealed that wealthy students have a huge […]

OPINION
Photo illustration of a house

Our one and only: A parable of the miraculous house

By: - July 21, 2023

The house was a miracle. The peaked roof poked out from the forest of pine trees, pointing up to the blue, cloud-streaked sky. As the wind blew, pine needles, still wet with morning dew, would slap the wooden shingles of the roof in a rhythm that sounded like a heartbeat from inside the house. The […]

OPINION
University of Kansas law professor Lumen Mulligan pointed to flaws in the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing state legislators to intervene into lawsuit defended by a state attorney general so broader interests of a state could be heard. Mulligan argues in a recent University of Colorado law journal article precedent made clear the state couldn't be represented by both the attorney general and other state officials. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

When a ‘C’ equals an ‘A,’ Kansas teachers and institutions deceive our students

By: - July 14, 2023

I love teaching. But I hate grading. I am not alone in this. Most teachers, instructors and professors — from kindergarten to doctoral classes — embrace the daily work of being an educator: preparing lectures, leading demonstrations, decorating bulletin boards, refreshing lesson plans, helping students during class. We even enjoy designing assignments, even though those […]

OPINION
A selection of albums from onetime University of Kansas visitor Taylor Swift available for sale at Love Garden Sounds in Lawrence, Kansas

Rewind to when Taylor Swift attended class at the University of Kansas — at least for one day

By: - July 7, 2023

Chuck Marsh could tell that something was a bit jittery about his Journalism 101 class at the University of Kansas. Marsh was instructing the spring 2009 installment of “Media & Society.” During the April 27 class, he was taking his students through the normal routine. He walked around the Budig Hall auditorium while his graduate […]

OPINION
A photo illustration shows the silhouettes of two young people holding hands

Even sleep-away summer camps can’t snip the umbilical cord of data between parents and children

By: - June 30, 2023

This week, I have been opening the same app — over and over — scrolling through photos. Zooming in. Zooming out. Squinting at the faces. Paging through gallery after gallery. Reading the sideways smirks for hidden meanings. Examining the half-expressions in the photos like tea leaves. “Is he having fun?” “Is he hanging out with […]

OPINION

Kansas teenager closing out run in Broadway show that earned Tony Award for Best Play

By: - June 23, 2023

As a journalist, I’m obligated to give you the headline news: a Kansas teenager is acting in a Broadway production that earned the Tony Award for Best Play.  I’m also obligated (and delighted) to tell you that, along with so many in the KC metro, I am a raving fan of this Kansas kid, Drew […]

OPINION
The rise of images created by artificial intelligence has created existential risks for photography as we know it

AI has transformed the ethics around deceptive images from a slippery slope into a trap door

By: - June 9, 2023

A question that I overheard this week seemed innocent enough: Should a business owner use artificial intelligence to create photographic-looking images of himself for publicity? Imagine the image he is aiming for. Portraits of our friendly business owner — let’s call him Albert — presenting his project plan in a trendy sun-drenched conference room. Pixels […]

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
Close up of woman's hand using smartphone.

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 […]