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.

The Weekly Scroll for Friday, Sept. 8, 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:

In this day and age, nothing is more important than freedom of expression, especially in the opinionated generation many of us belong to. Someone who emcompasses this is Hadar Harris, a human rights attorney and non-profit leader with a passion for working with and on behalf of students. She became the new executive director of the Student Press Law Center, on Sept. 6.

For further exploration…
Here’s a podcast of Hadar speaking with former SPLC Executive Director Frank LoMonte about her future plans for the organization, showing just how she will enrich the learning of the general public.

It’s an honor:

Wildfires, Hurricanes, and Floods…OH MY!
Environmental journalist Michael Kodas sits down with Quill and Scroll to talk about his new book and what student journalists can do to cover the environment in their schools and in their communities. Click here to see how to cover the wildfires that are ravaging the American West, and the hurricanes that are pounding the South.

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:

Journalist gone humanitarian
When Hurricane Harvey started dumping inconceivable amounts of water on his hometown, Shea Serrano, a Houston-based staff writer for Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture website The Ringer, knew he should do something. And what’s the easiest way to reach a large amount of people? Well…he tapped into his network and turned to Twitter. Look at the remarkable amounts of money he raised overnight.

When something gets tough, work harder
Journalists covering the racial violence in Charlottesville faced challenges as they chose the appropriate words, images and sounds to express the emotions surrounding the attacks. This is not a time to shy away from the dangerous reality of hate, and it is not a time to glorify hate groups either. As the story unfolds about Charlottesville and the hard-working journalists on the ground covering it, the Poynter Institute offers this advice.

Just a Thought:

It’s just “fake news”!
The fake news phenomenon led to obsessive fact-checking in 2016. Now academia, with its slower publication process, is catching up. In the past few weeks, several studies with interesting findings for fact-checkers were published. Here are five of those studies that were deemed to be most important by Poynter.

It’s journalistic “Tool Time”
So, do it yourself references are culturally relevant at this point in time. And when it comes to digital tools…they are right at the front of the line. Let’s just get right to it and see how.

Put me in, Coach
An editor can be seen as a coach for a story. In writing, coaching means engaging the writer in an ongoing conversation about the story. This can be anywhere from the conception of the idea down to the final edit. The longer and more detailed the conversation, the less work you will have once the story is in the final stages. In this, you can learn from Poynter’s Vicki Krueger how to sharpen the idea and create an undoubtedly strong premise for a story.

The Weekly Scroll for Friday, Sept. 1

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:

The water is coming, the water is coming!
For all of our teacher or adviser readers…first day of school jitters this year? Just think about how jittery these teachers were, when they didn’t know if their students were safe from the water in Houston. “I’m lucky to be safe and dry, but I worry for the thousands of others who are not as fortunate — particularly many of my students. One of my students was being evacuated when I called to check up on her.” Click here to educate yourself on the schools that have been closed in Texas because of Hurricane Harvey.

You can help Texas’ high school journalists
Feeling inspired from the article above that you just read? We’re sure you are. So do you wanna help journalism students in Texas? Here’s how.

Think you can cover the unthinkable? Think again
Unfortunately, advisers and student journalists too often have to weigh the decision to write about student suicide in their schools. Here, from the Student Press Law Center, is an article on best practices when confronted with covering suicide.

It’s an honor:

Like it? Write it. Quill & Scroll Q&A with the founder of Global Student Square
Journalists, have you ever discovered a newsworthy story on accident? Students, have you ever told a teacher a story that shaped your relationship? Put these two in action together and you have the nonprofit Global Student Square. Click here to see how the students have told their stories and how founder, Beatrice Motamedi, planted the seed for the non profit.

A word from one of our own
Here’s a story from Long Island Herald (N.Y.) written by Mikelly Baptiste, a student at Elmont High School. Elmont High School is a Q&S charter school. Baptiste, a Haitian-American, vividly describes what she sees when she looks at the audience at the annual New York State School Music Association competition, where she plays the flute. “I’ve always gotten looks,” she said. “People look at me differently, whether it’s regarding dance, music or my academics. They just don’t think of me as the same.”

What’s Viral:

What should we do here?
ESPN football analyst Ed Cunningham, a former college and professional football player, announced his retirement from broadcasting this week, citing the number of head injuries in the sport as his reason for quitting. “I think people are starting to think, What should we do here?” How do your high school and the state’s athletic governing body feel about head injuries, not just in football but in all sports? What measures are being taken to reduce them? Are those measures effective?

Amid the floodwaters, journalists persist
School starting always causes distractions and commotion in itself. If you’re like us at Quill and Scroll, regardless of  those distractions and where your head may be, your heart is in Texas this victims dealing with the disaster of Hurricane Harvey. So, we’re pausing here to spend a few moments with Texas journalists, and how they have covered stories about the rising waters in Houston.

Just a Thought:

Attention, avid texters.
Is your tone fun? Is it sarcastic? Is it professional? Click here to see the trends in learning to develop a personality or style through the use of acronyms as you further your writing career.

Say what?
“Keep using that word, hon. It doesn’t mean what you think it does.” Someone ever say that to you? Have you ever thought that when listening to someone speak? Well guess what…browse over here and see the decoding done by The Skimm of some of those phrases.

The Weekly Scroll for Friday, Aug. 25, 2017

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

The Lede:

More fake news and how to fight it

The investigative reporting of six students at Pittsburg (Kansas) High School’s newspaper led to the resignation of a newly hired principal, Amy Robertson, who faked her college credentials. Now, the students are calling for Pittsburg Superintendent Destry Brown to take responsibility for his support of Robertson and failing to follow through on her questionable accreditations. When students brought their concerns to Brown in multiple meetings, they say they were brushed off. They are now seeing real changes being made in the Board of Education and its hiring procedures. Click here to read more.

This is not the blank space T. Swift was talking about

Two openly gay seniors at Kearney (Missouri) High School used their senior yearbook quotes to celebrate their sexual orientation, but the students found blank spaces by their pictures instead of their words. The quotes were removed without warning by administrators, who were concerned they would “potentially offend” other students, whom they addressed in a statement to parents and local media. The two students brought their story to a Kansas City television station. Click here to read more.

Sick beats for journalists

Places to visit and people to talk to when covering the beats of city hall and local government, police and public safety, and courts. Click here to read more.

It’s an Honor:

Winner, winner; (five) chicken dinners

Quill and Scroll announced the names of five scholarship winners for 2017. This article covers this year’s winners, their future plans, and how to apply for the scholarships yourself. Click here to read more.

Girl Power doesn’t come with a cost

In this article by Erinn Aulfinger, one of the two 2017 winners of the George and Ophelia Gallup Scholarship awarded by Quill and Scroll, discusses the value of applying the skills you learn. Aulfinger published and distributed a free book for young girls to combat the issues that arise from low self-esteem. With this book, she hopes to make a real difference in a global problem. Click here to read more.

What’s Viral: 

Zoinks, Scoob, I think we got the wrong guy

Shortly after a group of white nationalists led a march through the University of Virginia, social media sleuths went on a mission to identify people who participated in the protest and make their identities known to employers, family members, and the general public. While this worked in some cases, it did not for one Kyle Quinn, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and a falsely accused participant. Quinn woke up to demands that he lose his job, vulgar messages on his social media, accusations of racism, and posts of his home address, causing him and his wife to take safety measures for the weekend. While the actual man that Quinn bore resemblance to has not been identified, his case shows the danger and consequences of the “reckless spread of misinformation in breaking news” because of a lack of research and fact-checking that is necessary for good journalism. Click here to read more.

The Village Voice finds a bullhorn

After 62 years, the weekly New York City newspaper known as the Village Voice is ending its print publication. The paper will shift its focus to media platforms as well as producing more content throughout the week. Since their move, the Village Voice has already seen an increase in audience, and the beloved home of opinion and New York flare is safe in the arms of the internet. Click here to read more.

Just a Thought:

Dismantling the Copy Desk

The copy desk to some is an antiquated feature of news, where copy editors are best moved into roles of reporting or production to save money and resources. More than 20 years ago, when many papers started making this change, more mistakes sneaked into print, and thus the copy desk was saved, its purpose reaffirmed. Now, the New York Times is preparing to reinvent its copy editing staff, keeping only a few of its 100 members to become “strong editors” that will cover all the copy editing duties. While times are very different from the original experiment in the 90’s, is it still a bad idea to dismantle the copy desk? Click here to read more.

Quill and Scroll International Honor Society for High School Journalists was founded in 1926 at the University of Iowa by George Gallup. Check out our website to read more useful articles and to learn out how to become a charter school and/or a member.

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