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A&M-Commerce Grad Student Produces History Series For KETR

Zachary Adams shared stories of Northeast Texas on KETR's airwaves this year.
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Zachary Adams shared stories of Northeast Texas on KETR's airwaves this year.

KETR says goodbye to 2020 with only one regret -- we won't have the services of Zachary Adams, who produced a history series for the station as part of his graduate program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. Listeners heard the "Backroads of Northeast Texas" series occasionally during Weekend Edition Saturday and All Things Considered throughout the Fall 2020 semester.

"I grew up in this area, my grandparents would constantly tell me stories about schools, communities, and other things that were here," Adams, a Fannin County native, said.

"I wanted to give this area more of a spotlight. We have all this interesting history around us that maybe not a lot of people know and I wanted to put those stories out there. The process every week was to find as much information as possible about the topic," Adams said.

Topics ranged from the history of Commerce's Norris Community to the origin of the Fannin County town of Bug Tussle's strange name.

"Most of the time I would use resources like the Handbook of Texas History, local newspapers, websites from the communities, and in the case of Ladonia some books that had been published by a local historian," Adams said. "I would gather all the information and try to turn it into a story that I thought might be interesting, while doing my best to highlight the communities I wrote about. This project was a challenge to me because up to this point when I wrote about history it was more on the academic side which can be dry and uninteresting to someone not involved in the field. This series made me focus on not only telling an accurate story but in making sure it would be interesting. This project was the best possible project I could have had for my internship and I am thankful to KETR for providing a place to be creative and to try my hands at something new."

Adams graduated with an M.A. in History in December 2020.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.
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