In this bewildering time, student journalists have a chance to ‘Seize the Year’ by joining the Q&S student board
By Jeff Browne
Quill and Scroll Executive Director
Student journalists have always had the ability to shape their worlds, telling stories and reporting news that informs and inspires their peers, their parents and their communities.
Quill and Scroll journalists have the added bonus of being part of a community that includes thousands of students at charters across the United States and around the world. However, the power of that collective has been largely untapped.
This is the year we change that, and the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board can be the catalyst.
Formed two years ago, the SAB has a triple purpose:
- To plan and execute a nation-wide pro-journalism activity every year in conjunction with the Journalism Education Association, the national journalism teachers’ organization.
- To provide counsel to Quill and Scroll chapters around the world about possible activities for their chapters.
- To provide counsel to the Quill and Scroll Executive Director and staff about the organization’s membership benefits, contests and other activities.
The activities should:
- Promote and embody at least one of the eight lights in the Quill and Scroll induction ceremony: Truth, Leadership, Loyalty, Initiative, Integrity, Judgment, Friendship and Learning.
- Bring together Quill and Scroll chapter members from across a school and across the world to work on a unified project.
- Reach out to the school and/or community from which a chapter draws its students.
- Have a broader impact in promoting the ideals of scholastic journalism, as they relate to the eight lights.
The student board members have the power to define exactly what those activities look like.
The SAB for the past two years coordinated with JEA — the organization to which your advisers and teachers belong — to promote February’s Scholastic Journalism Week.
Last year’s national high school journalist of the year, Emily Hood of Francis Howell North, served on the board both those years. And we can continue Emily’s work. But we can also provide assistance to student editors struggling to cover the pandemic, racial justice issues, local and national elections, economic crises unfolding in our communities, and the uncertainty of school itself.
Q&S student board members are not required to, but they may also contribute podcasts, columns and editorials to Quill and Scroll’s online magazine, The Digital Quill.
It’s a great way to practice leadership at an international level, and a great way to promote the principles of truth, leadership, learning, loyalty, integrity, initiative, judgment and friendship. Apply today. The application deadline is Sept. 1.
Once the board is chosen (probably by Sept. 18), we’ll meet via teleconference to begin brainstorming. Will we set up a story sharing service for Quill and Scroll schools around the world? Will we plan an activity to promote ethical journalism? Will we work with JEA, the Student Press Law Center or other organizations to ensure First Amendment freedoms for our members?
Here are some inspiring words from Q&S board member Patrick Johnson to get you started.
But’s all up to you. Carpe Annum, indeed.