January 17, 2020

News, tips and advice from Quill and Scroll

The Lede

President Trump’s trial begins in Senate

With the delivery of the Articles of Impeachment via Nancy Pelosi and a troop of House Democrats late Wednesday night, President Trump’s impeachment trial officially began Thursday before Senate. Chief Justice John Roberts serves as presiding officer of the proceedings.

Senators are sworn to deliver impartial justice during impeachment proceedings. President Trump continues to claim his innocence in the matter; however, new documents have been presented provided by Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump’s personal lawyer (Rudy Guiliani) relating to foreign policy. Pressure is now on in Senate to call more witnesses. Opening statements are expected to begin on Tuesday, January 21.

North American trade deal set in writing

The Senate approved a new North American trade agreement Thursday with an overwhelming vote of support coming in at 89-10. This trade agreement, if signed by President Trump, would replace the 25-year-old agreement known as NAFTA that originally caused a surge in trade between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The new deal has become known as USMCA and was signed only 24 hours after Trump signed a new trade agreement with China. This vote also comes minutes before the impeachment trial against President Trump began Thursday. While the trial continues, Congress is not expected to pass any major bills. The trial, along with the election year, will keep Congress busy.

The agreement has been approved by Mexico and Canada is expected to do the same within months. According to the Associated Press, “the International Trade Commission projected in April that the trade agreement would boost the economy by $68 billion and add 176,000 jobs six years after taking effect.”

It’s An Honor

2020 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest open until February 5

Our Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest is now open for entry until Feb. 5, 2020.  This year, we’ve updated the contest so that it rewards students with the work they regularly produce in their newsrooms.

Enter now to reward students with the work they regularly produce in their newsrooms at A form of payment must be completed at the time of entry. Online credit card payments must be completed by Feb. 5; purchase orders must be emailed to Quill and Scroll at the time of entry; and checks must be in our office by Feb. 14, 2020! However, we are taking applications anytime from now until February 5.

Nominate students now for Quill and Scroll Honors

It’s never too early to submit your school’s nominations for Quill and Scroll induction! Student memberships are coveted honors that award the top achievers in student journalism. Nominate your sophomores through seniors today!

As the spring semester continues, orders pour through our doors. Complete your orders for graduation cords and pins now to ensure quick fulfillment! We have both member and nonmember awards available to be purchased.

They can be found at the bottom of this page.

Not too early to apply for Q&S scholarships

The scholarship forms for both students and advisers are open now.

For students, scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university. Recipients must major in journalism or a related area of communications.

For advisers, Q&S identifies and rewards experienced journalism teachers and publication advisers who seek the opportunity to upgrade their journalism skills, teaching methodologies and advising techniques.

The scholarship forms for application are open until April 15 (advisers) and May 10 (students).

Free Spirit Journalism Conference

Each year, one high school junior from every state and the District of Columbia is selected to attend the (all-expenses-paid) Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C.  Conference dates for 2020 are June 19-24.

Sponsored by the Freedom Forum Institute in honor of the late Al Neuharth, founder of USA TODAY and the Newseum, the goal of the program is to encourage free-spirited students to pursue a career in journalism and to emphasize the importance of the First Amendment in a democracy. Each student is awarded a $1,000 scholarship to the college of his/her choice. 

The application deadline is February 1, 2020. The application can be found here.

Q&S Interviews Jonathan Rogers

Here’s our interview with Jonathan Rogers, the award-winning adviser at Iowa City High School. He touches on several key issues, including media literacy and the value that high school journalists can bring to their communities. Enjoy!

What’s Viral?

Student Press Freedom Day

On January 29, 2020, students across the nation will celebrate Student Press Freedom Day, a day of recognition sponsored by the Student Press Law Center. This day celebrates the contributions of student journalists and focuses on the need for freedom in student publications from censorship.

The national day of recognition is celebrated on the anniversary of the Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier decision, which allows school and community officials to censor student publications sponsored by the school. Students are unable to write about topics deemed inappropriate by school and community officials because of this decision. While a principal or community leader may find the topic to be insensible for a student publication, the topics are important to students, school and community.

The 2020 theme for Student Press Freedom Day is, “This Is What Student Press Freedom Looks Like.” The theme focuses on celebrating the hard work that goes into producing student journalism. Here are a few ideas on how to emulate this theme in your own newsroom:

  • Research if your state has a “New Voices” grassroots campaign and brainstorm ideas of how to become involved in that campaign.
  • Write an editorial discussing the need for press freedom in student news publications.
  • Use the hashtag #StudentPressFreedom and share how your newsroom celebrates and works toward this idea.

1917: World War I vs. discussion of WWIII

Thousands of memes, gifs, tweets and TikToks about the possibility of WWIII hit social media last week after the U.S. caused death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s vow to make the President and powerful government officials pay. Younger generations jumped onto this hashtag (#WWIII) with jokes about draft-by-text and making light of war itself.

While discussion of WWIII has been around since the ending of WWII, the amount and context of WWIII media produced makes one reflect upon the nature of war, especially in respect to WWI and WWII.

Since the end of the Second World War, numerous movies, television shows and books have circulated in popular culture to contextualize, reimagine, or recount its history. People seem to have a fascination with war. The proximity of WWII compared to WWI makes it a more accessible topic; while both are taught in schools, there is far more popular media portraying WWII.

In the last quarter of a century, sixteen movies about WWII have been nominated for an Academy Award, compared to the one WWI movie nominated for the same award (Steven Spielberg’s War Horse“).

The late 2019 movie, 1917, however, continues to grab attention for its Academy Award potential. The movie, inspired by a true story, brings WWI to the front of viewer minds, rather than focusing on the meme-heavy potential of WWIII—a so far non-existent war—and the far more covered Second World War. Viewers are reminded of the war that started it all: the technology, the war legacy and the love of country.

Billie Eilish and Wizards of Waverly Place

As a guest on the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday, viewers expected Selena Gomez to be asked about her recent album release Rare. What they might not have expected, however, was learning that eighteen year-old Billie Eilish’s highly popular 2019 song “Bad Guy was inspired by the theme song of Gomez’s claim to fame: Wizards of Waverly Place. Selena Gomez had, of course, heard this news previously.

The singer’s latest album was released last week after her single “Lose You to Love Me” was released in October 2019. You can listen to the whole album here.

Just A Thought

Senior Mikaila Barker and junior Amber Bacardi, The Chronicle editors-in-chief, write a follow-up to “Invisible Wounds.” “Invisible Wounds” is a new story that will be published in the staff’s 2019 yearbook. Photo by Cara Brinkman

Student journalists predict news industry future

In a year-ending article, Teen Vogue journalist Rainesford Stauffer sat down with student journalists across the country to discuss their predictions of the future of the news media climate. While the media phrases the traditional news industry as coming to an end, these students give their thoughts on the viable future of news media, because of their necessity to keep communities informed.

Stauffer interviewed high school to university level journalists involved in community and school papers and projects that are student-led. These students are providing news for entire communities; they’re focusing on unheard voices and dodged topics, such as the lives of the poor and underprivileged, while breaking news stories that giant companies are distributing to the public.

“Just because the word student is in front of the description does not mean that we aren’t real reporters doing real work,” senior reporter for Since Parkland Madison Hahamy stated.

Student journalists recognize the current issue news organizations have: the (often inaccurate) use of the term “fake news.” With students as the future for news, they as journalists have the responsibility of establishing a new precedent with their generation, one that celebrates truth and diversity in the publications of all media.

“Diversity, ethical reporting, and attention to their communities — including schools, neighborhoods, and online communities — are priorities for student reporters and crucial for the future of journalism, ” Stauffer wrote. Read the full article here.