Texas Standard For October 22, 2020

Across the Lone Star State, Texans expected to be tuning in tonight for political fireworks show, but what about policies? We’ll set the stage for a final debate. And: Texans looking for unemployment benefits will soon have to once again prove they’re looking for work, but what constitutes a work search in the eyes of Texas officials? We’ll take a closer look. Also: In Collin County, it’s the academy versus free speech as a professors’ tweet roils a college campus. Plus: A freeze frame on a music scene almost forgotten from 40 years back. And fake news for real? A warning about a rising force in local news that has experts advising, don’t believe everything you read. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardOctober 22, 2020 9:30 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, October 22, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

Debate Preview

Tonight is the final presidential candidate debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. There have been changes to the format and there will be two particular topics of interest to Texans on tap; energy and the environment. Richard Pineda, director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso, talks to the Standard about what to expect. 

TWC Work Requirements

Last spring, the Texas Workforce Commission suspended requirements to search for work during the pandemic. They are now reinstating the work search requirement starting Nov. 1. If Texans receiving unemployment benefits do not do this, they risk losing those benefits. James Bernsen, the TWC’s deputy director of communications talks to the Standard.

 Collin College Professor

In Plano, a Collin College professor’s message posted on Twitter has led the college president to criticize her remarks calling them hateful and vile. As KERA’S Bill Zeeble reports, the issue is sparking a debate over academia and free speech.

Partisans Producing Pay-to-Play “Local” News

The vacuum left in many communities by the death of local newspapers hasn’t remained empty. Instead, networks of web sites with local-sounding names are paying writers to craft stories that favor specific political candidates and messages. The New York Times this week reported the largest of these networks, whose focus is conservative politics, has a major Texas connection. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga tells us more.

The Asylum Trap, part  3

There are currently thousands of asylum seekers stuck indefinitely in Mexico, waiting for U.S. courts to reopen so their requests for asylum can be heard. All this week, we are featuring voices from people caught in this limbo, living in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso,  in a project called the “The Asylum Trap.” As KERA’s Mallory Falk reports, COVID-19 hasn’t just pushed back people’s court dates. It’s also made supporting themselves almost impossible.

“Texas Is The Reason” Highlights Music History through Photos

Photographer Pat Blashill has published pictures taken almost 40 years ago of the Texas music scene. He talks to the Standard about the book, “Texas Is The Reason.” A native Texan, Blashill now lives in Austria with his family.

Mail-In Ballot Security

Friday is the deadline for eligible voters to request a mail-ballot in Texas. Concerns and confusion about the mail ballot process have left some voters asking: Am I doing this right?  As part of our statewide series “Texas Decides,”  Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios has got answers for voters who are perplexed about certain aspects of mail voting. as the state is seeing record usage.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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