Texas Standard specials

From prehistory to today, to the U.S/Mexico border and the moon,
Texas Standard has dedicated the airwaves to diving deep into what makes
this state unique – and shed light on stories that impact Texans from all walks of life.

The stories below represent some of our finest work. Many of these are award-winning,
in-depth stories from Texas Standard reporters, producers and multimedia journalists.
We hope you’ll enjoy reading, watching and listening to them. At the bottom of this page
you’ll find a list of awards these pieces have garnered over the years.

Where the Lone Star State’s most prominent industries are moving

April 22, 2024 – Will oil and gas continue to reign supreme? Will tech in Texas keep booming? And how will agriculture fare in the face of climate change?⁠ A glimpse at where these industries are headed.

A closer look at some creatures of legend

October 2023 – From Bigfoot to La Lechuza, we spent this spooky season looking into the backstories on the mysterious entities found in folklore across the Lone Star State.

Highlighting the voices and concerns of disabled Texans

September 1, 2023 – This special kicked off Texas Standard’s yearlong commitment to featuring the voices of and covering the topics important to disabled Texans.

Food, fuel and the future of Texas

March 9, 2023 – An in-depth report on gas stations’ history and prominence in Texas, from pricing to transportation infrastructure to the future of electric vehicles.”

A balanced discussion about gun control in Texas

August 15, 2022 – In the wake of the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, what can – and should – be done to make schools safer?

Looking out for our elders

November 4, 2021 – Most older Texans don’t go to school; many don’t have jobs. So when abuse, neglect or fraud happens, it’s possible for it to go unnoticed. This special report highlights how protecting older Texans is everyone’s responsibility.

Texas and the pandemic

March 12, 2021 – More than 2.5 million reported cases. Almost 45,000 deaths. Few catastrophes have had such a profound impact on Texas as COVID-19. One year on, the state and its residents continue to feel the effects of the pandemic.

A decimation of people, a celebration of life

October 30, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought death and sorrow to every Texas community. But the coronavirus has perhaps inflicted one of the deepest wounds on the Hispanic community, making this a Día de los Muertos like no other.

How Asian Texans shape the state

September 7, 2020 – About 1.5 million Texans identify as Asian American. While that’s about 5% of the Texas population, Asians are now the fastest-growing population in the Lone Star State, expected to grow to nearly 6 million by 2050.

Water’s role in our interconnected world

October 14, 2019 – Water divides – and unites – communities all over the world. The Texas Standard series Drop by Drop explores how water shapes life in Texas, Mexico, Central America and around the world.

The new West Texas

September 18, 2019 – The Permian Basin in West Texas leads the nation in oil and gas production. Midland and Odessa have long been the heart of this industrialized desert. But oil and gas development is expanding outward.

How Texas paved the way for Apollo

July 19, 2019 – The pathway to the first moon landing ran through Texas, and the marks of that journey left deep and lasting impressions on not just the lunar surface, but on the Lone Star State as well.

Voices of women voters

June 4, 2019 – On June 4 of 1919, Congress took the monumental step of granting women the right to vote by passing the 19th Amendment. Although women in Texas had been voting in primaries for a year before the historic 1919 vote, this June marks the 100th anniversary that opened the door for women to vote nationwide.

How kids can age out of Texas foster care without documentation

February 4, 2019 – It seems almost inconceivable that an American would struggle to secure their birth certificate, Social Security card, or state identification. But it happens, and most often to some of the state’s most vulnerable children – those in the foster care system.

When dinos roamed the Lone Star State

Summer 2018 – From ancient armadillos to the Texas terror of the skies, Quetzalcoatlus, the Lone Star State has been a site for many prehistoric finds.

One year later

August 20, 2018 – Hurricane Harvey changed the landscape of many Gulf Coast communities, possibly forever. How have the communities that were hardest hit rebuilt, and what have we learned that could help us weather the next major storm?

How police put guns on the street and Congress hides what happens to them

December 2, 2017 – An investigation by Texas Standard and Reveal has found that 21 of Texas’ 50 largest law enforcement agencies sell their used weapons to the public, effectively creating a pipeline of guns flowing right back into communities.

The rise and fall of Texas ghost towns

October 23, 2017- You’ve seen them as you drive along lonely Texas highways, or tucked away in the odd corner of an otherwise urban landscape. They’re the bones of once-loved homes, cemeteries overgrown with weeds, even whole towns that time forgot: Ghost towns.

How the U.S. turned its back on millions of Mexican guest workers

September 13, 2017 – Donald Trump disparaged migrants from Mexico in his run to the White House, but at one time workers from Mexico were ‘absolutely essential to the survival’ of some U.S. industries.

What more barriers mean for border communities

January 9, 2017 – Building a wall along the 2,000-mile border between the United States and Mexico was a signature plank of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. His win in November is bringing the reality of that proposal into focus.

Examining the Texas foster care system

January-May 2017 – Texas is in the middle of a foster care crisis. More than a dozen children died while in foster care placements in the last several years. This series aims to get at the root of the challenges facing foster care in the state.

50 years after the UT Tower shooting

July 25, 2016 – On Aug. 1, 1966, a shooter began firing on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Fifty years later, the people who were there still remember that day.

Our specials have garnered numerous prestigious honors over the years. Click through the slides to see a few of them.