Social Media

The state’s only sugar mill is closing. What’s next for sugar cane farmers?

New laws – one from Texas – to regulate platforms like Facebook and TikTok are getting Supreme Court scrutiny today, with potentially profound implications.
Years of drought have devastated sugar growers in South Texas – so much so that the state’s only sugar mill is closing.
Austin’s I-35, the spine of the region’s roadway grid, is about to undergo the largest expansion since the highway opened in 1962. Nathan Bernier joins with a drill down into what it means.
And: We’ll learn about a device that can help blind and low-vision people experience the eclipse.

Remembering renowned ventriloquist Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Estrada

Ready? Or not? As primaries fast approach, an effort to prepare young Texas voters to cast their very first ballots.

A federal complaint filed over Texans being wrongfully kicked off Medicaid rolls.

The latest on a challenge to Texas’ new law prohibiting social media companies from censoring political speech online.

A new TV series on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X inspired by the groundbreaking work of a Texas professor. We’ll talk with him.

Also, the Standard’s Kristen Cabrera on the death of a beloved entertainer: San Antonio-based ventriloquist Ignacio “Nacho” Estrada.

What new polling says about Texans’ presidential preferences

With the Texas House and Senate in special session, border security is taking center stage – including one measure that sparked a verbal brawl in the state Capitol on Wednesday night.


Tech expert Omar Gallaga tells us why social media companies are de-emphasizing news, and what that means.


Also, a new poll from the Texas Public Policy Project shares clues on where Texans stand on the eve of the 2024 election cycle.

What can Texas teach California about dealing with homelessness?

As temperatures rise, so does gun violence. What does this mean for a Texas already struggling with climate change?

A new study on police response times in Texas’ biggest city and what it hints at for other departments elsewhere in the state.

Send in the clones – after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, are any of the alternates gaining traction?

California doesn’t often turn to Texas for policy tips, but more and more lawmakers from the Golden State are taking a closer look at how Texas cities are handling homelessness.

And a new book on the sitcom’s role in shifting attitudes toward the LGBTQ community.

Has Texas cracked down on protest after 2020’s racial justice demonstrations?

Do Texans support raising the minimum age to purchase firearms? We’ll hear the results of a new study by the Texas Politics Project.

The struggle to find staffing for the state’s psychiatric hospital system as needs for mental health support post pandemic have grown.

In response to the murder of George Floyd and police brutality broadly, people across Texas headed out to protest. A few years after those demonstrations, there’s been a backlash, writes the Houston Chronicle’s Jeremy Wallace.

Fusion … or something more? Taco journalist Mando Rayo on the similarities between food from Mexico and the Philippines.

And the Standard’s Shelly Brisbin on what may be emerging as the front-runner to replace Twitter.

What’s next after Texas judge rules abortion medication illegal

A ruling in Amarillo that could be the most consequential abortion decision since last year’s case overturning Roe v Wade. The ruling late Friday effectively bans Mifepristone, an abortion drug. But minutes after that ruling, another in Washington state orders the FDA to do nothing to restrict the pill’s availability. What happens next?

Two Democratic state legislators expelled last week in Tennessee. Could something similar happen in Texas?

And fentanyl: why experts are calling it the “social media drug”, and why interdiction efforts may be misplaced.

The future of TikTok hinges on ‘Project Texas’

Another tragedy in Uvalde, this one involving human smuggling. We’ll have the details on events there and in Eagle Pass that left three dead over the weekend.

Crowds are expected at the state Capitol this week as lawmakers take up several bills involving the treatment of transgender Texans.

What does it mean for Texas to blacklist a bank, especially at a time when the industry is so volatile?

“Project Texas” could be central to preventing a U.S. TikTok ban. But what is it exactly?

And why is a Texas school district considering leaving a statewide organization of school boards that until now has had 100% participation from public districts in the state?

Why many Texas cotton farmers are planting less this year

After a disastrous season for cotton production, could Texas lose its crown as top producer? Three Texans on the front lines talk about why some fear 2023 could be a tipping point.

The head of the University of Texas System Board of Regents puts a pause on new diversity, equity and inclusion policies.

With student debt forgiveness plans on hold, what are the implications for those struggling most to get out from under it?

Also tech expert Omar Gallaga on the rising price of social media verification and whether it pays to buy into the changes.

Lawmaker Gene Wu using Reddit to explain Texas Legislature

The clash between city leaders and state lawmakers is set to reach a new level at the Capitol. How state lawmakers are trying to crack down on policies by local prosecutors not to pursue certain cases.

A Texas researcher is pursuing a key to fight aging with the help of small monkeys.

We talk with Rep. Gene Wu, whose videos about how Texas politics actually works have blown up on social media.

In West Texas, concerns about growing tourism and the environmental impact spawn a plan to expand Big Bend National Park by purchasing adjacent land and giving it to the park.

Plus the legacy of San Antonio businessman B.J “Red” McCombs.

Answering your tree questions in the wake of the ice storm

Insurance claims are about to spike as Texans try to recover from storm damage – a Texas insurance specialist advises how best to move forward with claims: what to do, and what not to do. We’re also answering your questions about trees and ice damage.

We take a look at what winter storms have done to the state’s aviation industry.

The Standard’s own Sean Saldana shares new Texas job numbers and what they tell us about the state of the economy.

And the Texas Tribune’s James Barragán with the week that was in Texas politics.

This Texas label makes records the old-school way

Texas’ law against censoring political speech on social media is not in force for now, but that could change. Also: Truckers like to say they keep America rolling, but more are leaving the profession than ever – and it could have major ripple effects for everyone. Plus: A generation gap in high-tech, and a major difference in how sweeping layoffs are being felt. And: A Texas nonprofit founded to support voting restrictions tried to build a hospital in Ukraine; it has not gone as planned, and now red flags are going up.

Texas Standard: November 10, 2022

A major win in a very close race for the top seat in Texas’ most populous county. We continue to track final results and the implications of the midterms in Texas: Sergio Martinez Beltran with a debrief. Also apparent bipartisan agreement on one issue. With the passage of marijuana referendums in no fewer than 5 Texas cities. Plus in advance of Veterans Day, we’ll hear from a veteran who served two tours of duty during the don’t ask don’t tell era. And new archaeological findings about a west Texas massacre more than 100 years ago that complicates the historic narrative. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 27, 2022

As a new poll points to a tightening race for Texas Governor, a focus on an issue considered one of the biggest. We’ll talk about how immigration and border security have been front and center in the contest between Republican incumbent governor Greg Abbott and democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. Also with disinformation and misinformation rampant, the Standard’s Michael Marks on how to be a smart news consumer. And rising prices, rising wages. But not all paychecks rising at the same rate. Sean Saldana with more. And the southern second person plural that one writer now calls the most inclusive of all pronouns. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 18, 2022

Iranian made drones rain fire on Ukraines capitol of Kyiv, we’ll look at the significance and long term implications. Coming up a Texas A&M expert takes a closer look at Russia’s new round of drone attacks and the potential for further escalation in Ukraine. Also, Houston, we have a problem: a new report says several of the city’s suburbs are sinking. We’ll hear why and what can be done to stop it. And disinformation in Spanish speaking media sparks a demand from a coalition of Latino organizations is asking social media platforms to intervene. Plus seeking sterilization in a post Roe Texas. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 20, 2022

A Texas sheriff opens a criminal investigation into the flying of nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. Florida’s governor under investigation for emulating the tactic of Texas’ governor, flying migrants out of state. We’ll take a closer look. Also, many in the town of Uvalde turning to politics after frustration with how elected leaders have handled the aftermath of the mass shooting there last May. We’ll have the Texas newsroom with details. And President Biden pushing for online privacy legislation. Guess who’s pushing back: a hint, she’s not a Republican. Plus UT’s Steven Vladeck on Texas’ social media law, and what comes next. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 11, 2022

Multiple sources tell The Texas Tribune Governor Greg Abbott is exerting unprecedented control over who will lead the state’s power grid. Locked in a potentially tight reelection race and facing criticism over the grid’s 2021 collapse, we hear how the governor has put a stranglehold on the search for the operator’s CEO search. Plus the Biden Administration announced earlier this week it’s ending the controversial “Remain in Mexico,” program. What it means for migrants awaiting asylum hearings. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 28, 2022

18 billion in pandemic aid for Texas schools, a huge amount of money. So why has less than a third been spent? We’ll explore. Also with back to school just around the corner, many districts struggling to find and retain teachers. Will promises of a four day workweek do the trick? We’ll hear what educators and parents make of that approach. And five years after Hurricane Harvey, what researchers are finding out about a less obvious impact: the exposure to chemicals. Plus thousands of miles of new roads in Texas displacing hundreds of homes and businesses, but repeated findings of no environmental impact. A red flag? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 7, 2022

Record setting heat on tap for much of Texas. Will there be enough electricity to meet demand? And what about the rest of the summer? Coming up, the latest on heat warnings across Texas, and what it portends for the rest of the summer amid anxieties about whether the electrical grid can stand the strain. Also a federal judge moves to hold Texas’ foster care services in contempt as court monitors continue to find deficiencies in a system once declared unconstitutionally unsafe for children. Paul Flahive of Texas Public Radio with the latest. And what’s in a name? Some Mexico distillers say cultural appropriation. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 2, 2022

A teacher killed in Uvalde, her husband who died just days later and the outsized impact they had on their community. As Uvalde continues to mourn the loss of 19 school kids and two teachers in the latest mass shooting at a school in Texas, the governor calls for special committees to study school safety. But he stops short of demands for a special session. We’ll have the latest. Also beyond Roe: why many women are concerned that an expected decision from the Supreme Court could mean access to contraceptives will be at stake. Plus what happens next with Texas’ controversial social media law. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 27, 2022

In the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting, law enforcement facing many questions about whether they moved quickly enough. The grief among many families in Uvalde now compounded by anger over why it seemed to take so long to stop the gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb elementary. Investigative reporter Tony Plohetski with the growing demand for answers about the timeline. Also a new report on domestic gun violence, the correlations with age and gender, and what data points to when it comes to policy solutions. Plus the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard: