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: 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 […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: ‘Grassland Groupies,’ Wichita homesteaders, summer school blues

By: - June 25, 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 three podcasts I’ve spotlighted this week all wander into nature in their own ways: one through a “virtual” summer school field trip, one […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Growing hemp in Kansas, being farmers’ wives, not compromising on gun rights

By: - June 18, 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 thread that holds much of this week’s audio reporting together is how changing government programs and regulations impact Kansans, whether it’s about agriculture, […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Kansans taking down Asian stereotypes, training cybersecurity specialists

By: - June 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. It’s been an incredibly rich week for audio reporting in Kansas. Many episodes didn’t make it into Audio Astra this week, including recent installments […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Kansas’ missing lifeguards, middle-of-the-road memories and the ‘evangelical machine’

By: - June 4, 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. As summer begins in Kansas, it was a week of listening to stories about swimming, taking a lighter approach to life and slowing […]

OPINION

Audio Astra: Farmers saving water, virtual reality med school and other surprising sounds

By: - May 28, 2021

Audio Astra will review 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. In the coming weeks, I look forward to showcasing reporting from the previous week. In this first installment of Audio Astra, […]