The Weekly Scroll for Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

News, tips and advice from the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society.
Compiled and written by Marni Wax, Allison Wunder and Emily LaGrange.

The Lede:

Feed your curiosity, get out there

Maybe you caught the first few episodes this week of Ken Burns’ documentary about Vietnam. (Maybe you didn’t. Don’t worry; there’s time to catch up online or streaming to your television.) Burns tells great stories about the politics and the people involved, but even he can’t tell all the stories about that time and the Americans affected by the war.

You can help. Who are the people in your town who served in that war? What stories do they have to tell? Your teachers? Your parents and grandparents? How about the people who emigrated from Vietnam to the United States during the war or shortly after? There are dozens of stories out there. Go get ‘em.

Tips for dealing with tragedy

Caleb Sharpe takes the bus every day to his high school in a small Washington town, and one day last week he brought a black duffel bag with him to school.

Sharpe quietly pulled a pistol from his coat and shot his classmate, first in the stomach and then in the face, leaving him dead. Sharpe continued to make his way down the hallway, firing at other students or blindly shooting. Absolutely ruthless. When victims fight back against their bullies, it has gotten to extremes (and as we can see, it’s the worst case scenario at this point). Click here to learn tips on how to cover stories of this magnitude.

Arrests due to London bombing (but do you feel any safer?)

Britain on Sunday lowered its terrorism threat level, a day after the police arrested a second man in connection with the bombing in a London subway station that left dozens of people injured.

The first man, was arrested Saturday in Hounslow, a borough in West London. The suspect, was detained under the Terrorism Act and was held at a police station in South London.  The second arrest came the same day. An 18-year-old man for suspicion of being in connection with the bombing.

Click here to learn about more tips on covering this (especially to a younger audience). Let us know and comment with what you think these reporters did well…or not so well.

It’s an honor:

Get these critical tips, from one of our own

On the Quill and Scroll website, former Student Press Law Center executive director Frank LoMonte weighs in on the need for all journalists — especially student journalists — to have easy and ready access to public information, even if government agencies don’t always want to comply.

What’s it like to be a part of something bigger than yourself?

Go to our Facebook page to learn how to share your testimony about what it means to be a member of Quill and Scroll. Or you can go to the Quill and Scroll website to give a more detailed story about your connection to Q&S.


Does anyone have any footage of their induction ceremonies! We would love to feature your students in a video! Contact us at for more information.

What’s Viral:

Okay ladies, now let’s get in formation

Ladies, ladies. Don’t you want to be represented (I mean we are the future…right?)! Click here to read about how Margaret Sullivan remembers standing in front of a class of Northwestern University journalism students. She noticed the difference there from the newsroom meetings she had led in previous years. Find out what that difference may have been.

Times running out, and so is the Administration’s patience

The Trump administration escalated its verbal altercations with North Korea last Sunday, warning that time is ticking for Kim Jong Un’s regime and the United States to remain as allies (and ticking fast). The Administration said the risk from North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is only escalating and President Trump will address the crisis head on at the U.N. General Assembly.  

When you love your job, you don’t work a day in your life

Report for America is a model that will strengthen journalism, enrich life in communities, and give confidence to citizens. This will restore the broken trust in media by developing a new generation of journalists to serve local news organizations in under-covered corners of America.

This organization is wanting to create a program modeled after the Teach for America program, which puts recent college graduates into America’s classrooms as teachers. Report for America would do the same for newsrooms (hear that, guys?! JOBS!) and are looking for people to help them in this pursuit.

Just a Thought:

Sports, sports, sports!

No. 24 Florida (our executive director’s second alma mater) beat No. 23 Tennessee on a last-second Hail Mary on Saturday, 26-20. Feleipe Franks found Tyrie Cleveland to win it from 63 yards away. Despite their efforts, Tennessee didn’t have a lot of defensive help at the back of its secondary, and two defenders didn’t have the angle to deny Cleveland in the middle of the end zone. Bummer for the Vols! Click here to see commentary and learn a new way to present game coverage via social media.

Tools for a social media mastermind

Click here to see that latest trends and tools across the biggest social media platforms (that you all are probably surfing in another browser, as you read this).

The Weekly Scroll for Friday, Sept. 15, 2017

News, tips and advice from the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society.
Compiled and written by Marni Wax, Allison Wunder and Emily LaGrange.

The Lede:

Need background information for stories on DACA?
For those that are unfamiliar with DACA, President Barack Obama created a program through executive order in June 2012. The program simply provides a course in order to gain citizenship. Just this past week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security began phasing out a program that gives undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children a two-year reprieve from deportation.

On Wednesday night, Congressional Democrats said President Trump agreed to support legislation protecting DACA. That angered Trump’s supporters on the far right. Who knows where the fight is headed, but it’s certain this is a topic of interest to your school and in your community.

Click here to sift through the advice Journalist’s Resource offers when talking about this topic.

How far would you go when fighting for your rights?
Learn about Public News Service reporter Dan Heyman, who was arrested in West Virginia four months ago after he aggressively questioned Tom Price, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The charges against Heyman have been dropped, as of last week. “In a joint statement released by the Kanawha County prosecutor’s office and Mr. Heyman’s legal team said that the State had determined ‘after a careful review’ that Mr. Heyman had not acted unlawfully.”

So basically, you are entitled to your rights, people. Fight for ‘em!

Where do you get your news?
There has been an increase in numbers since 2016, when 62 percent of U.S. adults reported getting news from social media. (Coincidence that this was during an election year? Probably not.) We can attribute this growth to Americans who are older and less educated (aka it’s easier to get news this way…stay educated folks!)  This study is based on a survey conducted in August this year, with U.S. adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel.

The weather might be unpredictable, but journalists can be a step ahead
And here it is! The time of year that all Floridians dread. Hurricane season in the U.S. generally runs from late spring to late fall. Between the weather catastrophes and need for evacuations, schools closing, clothing, and shelter, the public looks to news agencies to  identify key resources to assist in a rehabbing process. To help journalists cover this important topic, Journalist’s Resource has compiled a list of reports, tip sheets, research studies and other resources that should be useful to media professionals of various experience levels.

It’s an honor:

And the award goes to…Q&S Executive Director earns national award
Our executive director, Jeff Browne has earned the Pioneer award! The Pioneer is the highest honor NSPA awards to journalism educators. This award goes to individuals who make remarkable influences on high school journalism and scholastic journalism education, in contribution to their employment.

“This year’s class of winners truly recognizes the best journalism education has to offer,” NSPA Executive Director Laura Widmer said. “These educators possess not only great teaching skills and passion for student press rights, they also have gained great respect and admiration from their students and colleagues. These Pioneers represent the best of the best in the country.” (Student Press).

Way to go, Jeff! We couldn’t be more proud than we are to have you as our fearless leader.

Does he have a plan for Q&S?
Funny you should ask. Here it is.

What’s it like to be a part of something bigger than yourself?
Go to our Facebook page to learn how to share your testimony about what it means to be a member of Quill and Scroll.

What’s Viral:

How is math like journalism? How about these four easy steps to solving a problem?
As a mathematician, Pólya has worked on a variety problems, including the study of heuristics (which is a fancy word to say how to solve problems). When you read the book, “How to Solve It,” it feels like you’re walking through and developing your own understandings of Pólya’s mind as he describes his patterns of thinking. And metacognition is often the heart of problem solving. Here it is. So any journalists that say they can’t do math (including myself)…think again!

Fail with honor, or win by cheating?
ACT Inc., the maker of the United States’ most popular college entrance exam, said an exam was canceled this month at various international test centers because a leak of the test materials. ACT said it could not give specifics as to how the test materials were leaked because the incident was still under investigation. Click here to track their findings.

Just a Thought:

The name Papa can really be used for more than one figure
Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017 was Grandparents Day. And, oh, how they should be celebrated! Many grandparents receive loving cards, calls and emails from their grandchildren. And others (over 2.9 million) went about their daily routines. They made their grandchildren breakfast, organized their activities and helped with homework in the evening. These grandparents are called, “custodial grandparents”, and have accepted the responsibility of raising their grandkids. What other day could be more fitting to discover what these remarkable grandparents do? Take a look!

Myth Buster: What it actually means to be a founder
The founders of The Skimm have realized many things about their jobs, as they have moved from the early stages to the later ones. They have learned any and all of the misconceptions about how successful the founders of companies are (well actually the myths of what people think). Click here and discover the brutal truth they learned – oh so quickly – about starting a company.

Global Student Square connects student journalists from around the world

A refugee named Olaf, 26, from Somalia (far left), talks with GSS students (left to right) Louis Serra, Sloane Valen, Allegra Knox and Tailor Liedtke for a story on a refugee camp in central Paris. Photo by Andy Wiener for GSS.

Q&S Q&A with Beatrice Motamedi
Executive Director, Global Student Square

How did
Global Student Square begin?

I started GSS in 2015 during a John S. Knight fellowship in journalism at Stanford. But the seed of GSS was planted a couple years earlier when I was working for a nonprofit that was trying to push journalism in low-income schools. I was meeting with a student in a school in south-central Los Angeles, and we were talking about the then-upcoming summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. He was an immigrant originally from Brazil, and he remarked that the stadiums that were being built for the Olympics were in out-of-the-way, rural places where nobody would ever go. And millions of dollars were going into this instead of things like housing and education, which people in cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo desperately need. I told the student that sounded like a great story and he should write it.

“But who would publish something like that?” he asked.

For me, that was the beginning of GSS. I’m an immigrant myself so I know what it’s like to know about another country or culture or language but not really have that be part of your life. On GSS, if you know something about the world, you can tell that story.

What is the GSS mission?

Our tagline is “connect, collaborate and create” and we really mean that. We’ve just finished our second full school year so it’s still early, but we’re building our team and creating workflows, for example, on how to have global chats that work in various time zones. Our goal is more collaborative projects that bring students from different places to work together on one issue. One good example is “45 for 45,” our series of videos by teens with a message for Donald Trump (America’s 45th president). Those videos have been coming in from around the world as well as the U.S. and really showed that pretty much every problem from climate change to immigration is a global problem. Either we solve them together, or we won’t solve them at all.

Where do your stories come from?

We get stories from schools and students we work with around the world, 20 schools and 200 correspondents so far. That includes breaking news, such as the Paris climate accords, the London terror attacks and vandalism at Jewish cemeteries in the U.S., but it also includes news, features and op-eds from any of our correspondents.

Currently we have a Muslim teen columnist and a Jewish teen columnist; we have a school in Bali where students report regularly on things like marine pollution and endangered orangutans; our Korean correspondents have gone to the DMZ and covered Korean pop; and our China correspondents are doing a video a story on students stressed out by the SAT. If a story could interest a student in San Francisco and Shanghai, it’s probably a GSS story.

GSS correspondent Kiran Dwivedi takes a photo of North Korea from the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for a story on a new train station on a line built with hopes of reunification for the two countries. Photo by Beatrice Motamedi for GSS.

What do students do?

We’re student-run, so they do a lot! Our correspondents and columnists write regularly and are on call for breaking news. Editors assign, edit, fact-check, hyperlink and publish stories and visuals. Our webmasters design things, fix things and watch analytics. Social media editors share what we do and help host global videochats (typically one per month).

We have some amazing editors, including Meghan Bobrowsky, the 2017 JEA/NSPA national high school journalist of the year; and Xavi Boluna, our webmaster, who is heading to UC Santa Cruz next fall. Our assistant webmaster, J.J. Hennessy, gave a presentation on GSS to the National Association of Media Literacy Association conference in Chicago this summer. He blew some minds — nobody could believe that a 10th grader could webmaster. But of course 10th graders can.

How do I get started?

First, look through our site. Read and watch what we’ve done so far. See how we roll — our focus is on global issues, common problems, stories that happened where you live but could be much more. Unless your story has that dimension, it won’t be for us. This year we’ll have a special emphasis on cities — the shift from rural to urban life, the push for environmental sustainability, the need for community and equity, the way immigration, law enforcement and education shape where and how we live. If you have that kind of story, we’d love to hear from you.

Second: Subscribe to our mailing list (bottom of homepage) or email your story pitch to An editor will respond.

Third: If you’re a student editor with at least one year of online experience, consider joining our team — apply for one of our 2017-18 internships (follow us @GSSVoices and like us on FB so you catch it). Currently we’re looking for story editors, webmasters/web designers, social media editors and a graphics editor/illustrator. We’d love to find a cartoonist! Successful applicants will have at least one-two years of experience on an online school publication, be familiar with digital media story conventions (e.g., hyperlinking, embedding video) and also use social media frequently and responsibly.

For more, email Beatrice at

@GSSVoices on Twitter
Global Student Square on Facebook
globalstudentsquare on Instagram

Quill and Scroll announces 2017 scholarship winners

IOWA CITY, Iowa (August 21, 2017) – Quill and Scroll is proud to announce its scholarship winners for 2017: Erinn Aulfinger of Lakota East High School in Liberty Township, Ohio; Samantha Nork of Fraser HS in Fraser, Michigan; Cierra Wall of Nation Ford HS in Fort Mill, South Carolina; Caroline Cooney of The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland; and Katelyn Pinkley of Richland R-1 HS in Essex, Missouri.

Each year students all over the world are recognized for their outstanding accomplishments by being awarded various scholarships. The scholarships each have guidelines about how they are awarded and why the students are deserving. Former Quill and Scroll Executive Director Vanessa Shelton worked diligently to award the students the honors they have earned.

Quill and Scroll national contest winners in the International Writing, Photography and Multimedia Contest, Blogging Competition or the Yearbook Excellence Contest are eligible as seniors to apply for scholarships – the Edward J. Nell Memorial, or the George and Ophelia Gallup awards. The Richard P. Johns award is available to all Quill and Scroll seniors, including those who did not enter contests.

In order to apply for scholarships, the following documents and recommendations need to be provided:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from your principal or counselor; one from a media adviser/teacher (see guidelines on Request for Letter of Recommendation form)
  • A small, colorphoto of yourself with name on the back
  • A statement of not more than 500 words
  • Three examples of your journalistic work.

Scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university that offers a major in journalism or related areas of communications.

Listed below are the winners for 2017, as well as their future plans.

George and Ophelia Gallup Scholarship ($1000 each x 2 recipients)

Erinn Aulfinger, Liberty Township, Ohio (Read Erinn’s post about using skills to solve problems.)
High School: Lakota East HS, Liberty Township, Ohio
Attending: Ohio State University

Erinn Aulfinger







Samantha Nork, Mount Clemens, Michigan
High School: Fraser HS, Fraser, Michigan
Attending: Macomb Community College

Samantha Nork







Richard P. Johns Scholarship ($500)

Cierra Wall, Fort Mill, South Carolina
High School: Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill, South Carolina
Attending: Hawaii Pacific University

Cierra Wall







Edward J. Nell Scholarship ($500 x 2 recipients)

Caroline Cooney, Bel Air, Maryland 21014
High School: The John Carroll School, Bel Air, Maryland
Attending: Harford Community College, Bel Air, Maryland

Caroline Cooney







Katelyn Pinkley, Essex, Missouri
High School: Richland R-1 HS, Essex, Missouri
Attending: Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Katelyn Pinkley

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