February 4, 2021

News, tips and advice from Quill and Scroll

The Lede

‘1619 Project’ sparks controversy

Legislators in Mississippi, Iowa and Arkansas seek to censor the project

The New York Times’ acclaimed “1619 Project” began in August of 2019 as an exploration into the history of slavery in the United States and its ramifications for black Americans. The project sparked essays, collections of photography, podcasts and even television series’ and films partnered by Oprah Winfrey.

“The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year. Doing so requires us to place the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country.” – Why We Published The 1619 Project

After the project and its lead journalist, Nikole Hanah-Jones, former Iowa High School Press Association (IHSPA) journalist, received a Pulitzer prize for her introduction to the collection, the Pulitzer Center created a series of educational tools that can be adapted for classroom instruction. In July of 2020, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), proposed a bill that would ban U.S. public schools from using “1619 Project” information in an educational format. Sen. Cotton stated the series of educational tools alleged that America is a “systemically racist country.”

Now, the Iowa House has proposed a bill that would monetarily punish public schools that choose to use any “1619 Project” materials in their course curriculum. If passed, any schools found using materials included within the “1619 Project” would receive a state budget reduction for the violation. Mississippi and Arkansas are also considering similar bills.

IHSPA opposes the bill and stated, “For the Iowa state government to begin censoring projects based on an ‘accurate’ or ‘patriotic’ version of history is a dangerous precedent.  The role of education, as Waterloo native Nikole Hannah-Jones has said, is to encourage inquiry and challenge students’ thinking.”

Does your state have any legislation limiting what can be taught in your public schools? Quill and Scroll encourages you to investigate.

Bezos to step down at Amazon

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Billion-dollar CEO and founder will not leave the company, just top position

Amazon announced Tuesday that its founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, would be stepping down in the third quarter of 2021 as the company’s CEO and be replaced by Amazon’s Web Services CEO Andy Jassy.

Bezos, who founded and launched Amazon in 1995, will move to a less public role to work on product development, early initiatives at Amazon, his space exploration company Blue Origin, philanthropic initiatives and overseeing The Washington Post.

Bezos, who was formerly the most wealthy person in the world – totaling in at a net-worth of $184 billion in January 2021 – will leave the small group of founding CEO’s in the big tech industry, leaving Facebook creator Mark Zuckerburg as this biggest name in big tech.

JEA honors lifetime achievement

Three advisors receive the 2021 honors

The Journalism Education Association (JEA) announced the award of three Lifetime Achievement Awards to journalism advisers Monday. Those advisors include Pam Bunka, former adviser at Fenton HS in Fenton, Michigan; Jack Denker, a former adviser for both Nebraska City HS and Fremont HS in Nebraska; and Lori Oglesbee-Petter, former adviser for McKinney HS and Prosper HS in Texas. All schools are Quill and Scroll schools.

Bunka, Denker and Oglesbee-Petter all received the award and will be honored at a video presentation as part of the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention on April 10.

Congratulations to all — and thank you for honoring high school journalism.

‘Trust Falls!’

Maryland-hosted webinar to feature CNN, Washington Post and Fox News journalists

Bethesda-Chevy Case High School Educational Foundation will host “Trust Falls!” a three day webinar focused on divulging the consistent distrust of mass media publications in America and what it means for democracy and free speech.

The webinar features two days of talks and workshops with college professors, professional journalists and former white house employees, as well as an opening address by Brian Selter of CNN. The webinar is scheduled for February 23-25.

All programming is completely free; registration is required for all events and sessions. To view more information on the webinar, click here. To register for any event, visit this website.

It’s An Honor

WPM Contest closes TOMORROW!

Submit entries in 34 categories for the 2021 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest by Feb. 5

The 2021 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest is now open for entries! This year we are offering 34 category contests, including four new categories:

  1. Climate and Environment Story
  2. Pandemic Coverage, Single Story
  3. Pandemic Coverage, Package or Series of Stories
  4. Sports Event Story

You can view a description of all 34 categories here.

In order to be eligible to submit your work, you must be a high school student and the piece must have been published, broadcast or run by a student media entity or professional news publication between Feb. 1, 2020 and Feb. 1, 2021. Yearbook spreads may be submitted if they fall within those parameters.

For the fourth consecutive year, WPM is completely digital — this means all entries must be accompanied by a link to the entry material that is shareable and viewable for our judges.

To enter, first click on this link to visit the School Entry Form. That form is filled out by someone representing the school or professional organization and can account for payment for entries. Once finished, press “Submit.” The form will automatically redirect you to the Student Entry Form where you will be able to submit entries.

Payment may be made by credit card, check or purchase order. Visit our website to learn more about completing each option.

The final entry deadline is February 5, but it is never too early to send in your entries!


Interviews with six Quill and Scroll judges, provide advice for entering contests

Have you been keeping up with our podcast series? This school year, we focused on providing you with the information you need to succeed in our contests as well as improve your journalistic skills. We’ve featured:

  • Lyle Muller, former editor of The Cedar Rapids Gazette and current editor for Politifact Iowa
  • Jann Nyfeller, music journalist and record shop owner
  • Fred Wickman, journalist and former college journalism advisor
  • Liz Martin, head photojournalist for The Cedar Rapids Gazette
  • Trevor Ivan, Youngstown State University journalism instructor and former contest director for the National Scholastic Press Association
  • Erica Hernandez, CNN digital producer and Quill and Scroll advisory board member
  • Annie Wooden, The Sanders County Ledger publisher and editor
  • Jeff Browne and Judy Hauge, Executive Director and Administrative Assistant for Quill and Scroll

In our latest professional interview, host Sylvia Clubb sits down with editor and publisher Annie Wooden of The Sanders County Ledger in Thompson Falls, MT. In this episode of THE SOURCE, Annie shares with host Sylvia Clubb what she values in news design and what she looks for as a judge for Quill and Scroll’s annual Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest, the deadline for which is Feb. 5, 2021. She also talks about how her paper’s mission is very similar to the mission of a student newspaper.

Heard a lot about WPM, but not sure where to start? Check out Episode 27 of our podcast, featuring Quill and Scroll Executive Director Jeff Browne and long-time Administrative Assistant Judy Hauge. We discuss the nuts and bolts of WPM: its history, what makes WPM different from other journalism contests and the specifics on entering.

All interviews are focused on improving your writing and photography skills with tips and advice provided by professional and accredited journalists. We still have interviews coming – stay tuned! Until then, make sure you’ve listened to our seven judges!

Quill and Scroll student board establishes online discussion board for student editors

The Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board is working on a project that will produce a monthly newsletter and a discord chat for editors to use, so they can give and receive help, tips and ideas from other editors.

If you are an editor at a yearbook or news publication or broadcast news entity, sign up on this Google Form to be a part of the discussion. If you’re an adviser, forward it to your editors, be they editors-in-chief, section editors, photo editors or any leader on your staff.

We would like our network to really encompass and connect as many editors as we can. Thank you so much for your time!

Induction season is here

It’s time to honor seniors and induct members

It’s that time of the year when Quill and Scroll chapters should be nudging their advisers to think about honoring seniors and inducting new members — be they sophomores, juniors or seniors — into our international journalism honor society.

We’re able to take and fulfill orders, even as Quill and Scroll staff work from both our home offices and our offices at the Adler Journalism Building on the University of Iowa campus.

We published this update in late 2020. It is still valid and includes a simplified order form for schools and advisers willing to pay via credit card, and an offer to host an online induction ceremony for your students. The sooner you induct new members, the sooner they’ll be able start planning chapter activities in the spirit of Quill and Scroll. Here’s a link to a PDF file of the Q&S Chapter Handbook if you don’t already have it.

A reminder about cords:

Students MUST HAVE BEEN OR WILL BE INDUCTED into the Society to earn the honor to wear an Honor Cord (GHC) or Honor Cord with Insignia (GCI). If you order cords for non-members, please choose the Non-Member Cord Option (NCD). Quill and Scroll exists because of the special unifying bond brought about by membership and the lasting legacy of the induction ceremony.

And, as always, feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions.

What’s Viral?

Girls and Women in Sports Day

Thirty-fifth annual celebration honors females in the sporting industry

Wednesday marked the 35th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Today, and every day, we celebrate representation of all kinds of journalism, activities and education.

Want to see what local programs are doing to celebrate NGWSD? Visit the Women’s Sports Foundation for more information.

Looking for ways to celebrate and stay informed all month long? The University of Iowa is sponsoring HERky’s Hour, featuring female leaders from the Big Ten, NCAA, ESPN and the University of Iowa all month long.

Keep up with #NGWSD on Twitter for the latest updates and features by professional and collegiate organizations.

Golden Globe nominations make history

Three female directors featured in the ‘Best Director — Motion Picture’ category

For the first time in history, women have surpassed male nominations in the “Best Picture – Drama” category at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Regina King (“One Night in Miami“), Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman“) and Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland“) are three of five directors nominated in the category, filling 60% of the ballot.

Also notable is the nomination of Helena Zengel in “Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture” for her role alongside Tom Hanks in “News of the World.” Zengel is only 12 years old and joins Kristen Dunst and Haley Joel Osment as the youngest nominated actors in history. Zengel had previously been credited as “best actress Lola,” a German equivalent to winning an Oscar, in 2019.

Golden Globe snubs that are drawing attention include Netflix’s “Malcolm and Marie,” HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” director Pedro Pascal of “The Mandelorian” and actress Uzo Aduba of “Mrs. America.

Suprise nominations include “Emily in Paris” and leading actress Lilly Collins.

To view a full list of nominations, click here.

EA Sports brings back college football

Next generation consoles will now be able to access an updated version of the popular video game

The last time college football graced the screens of gamers was 2013. Think about all the technological advancements we’ve experience since 2013 (to put it in perspective – the iPhone 5c was launched in 2013). EA Sports is the publisher of Fifa, Madden, UFC, NHL and NBA Live video games and announced Tuesday they will end its NCAA Football series hiatus.

The game does not have a premiere date yet, but the company has stated it won’t come out in 2021. In order to produce the game using the likeness of school stadiums, uniforms and team names, EA Sports has to work alongside the Collegiate Licensing Company to ensure all incorporation is done legally. This could include over 100 teams involved in the NCAA. 

Interestingly, the NCAA prohibits the use of players’ names within the game. Instead, EA Sports must create fictional characters to play for the teams. This rule includes the likeness of players (i.e. if your favorite player has a recognizable tattoo, stance, or anything else that would be immediately linked to someone).

Just A Thought

Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on Unsplash

Exploring the history of journalism

‘Internet Archive’ allows for a deep dive into the legacy of American newspapers

Journalists are often credited with recording history in its live moments. However, it’s often extremely difficult to access first-hand accounts of what journalists have reported on in the past: newspapers, in their essence, are made to be thrown away.Yet, I’m sure you have held on to old newspapers that include important historical headlines that you’ll want to remember years from now; for me, it’s the front page of The New York Times celebrating Obama’s victory in 2008. For my parents, it’s the front page of The Washington Post the day after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The tradition goes back for generations: we have collections of newspaper front pages into the 1960’s. Yet, we’re missing so much of history’s front pages.

Now, the Internet Archive has made it possible for anyone to search through the history of American newspapers in a free, digital archive, organized by Editor and Publisher.

We encourage you to explore the databases thousands of articles and track your own path in journalism’s history. Click here to read more from Joshua Benton of the Nieman Lab.