April 15, 2021

News, tips and advice from Quill and Scroll

The Lede

Chauvin trial continues

Defense presents witnesses in trial of police officer charged with murdering George Floyd

The murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin continued this week with his defense attorneys providing at least one witness who claimed that George Floyd died of heart disease, not because Chauvin restrained Floyd by putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes.

Floyd’s death caused weeks of upheaval and protests last year, and Floyd’s memory is still an animating cause for racial justice activists in the U.S.

The Associated Press has a dedicated web page where it is collecting explainers about what is happening at the trial.

Minneapolis news station WCCO summarized Day 13 of the trial.

Minnesota cop charged

Police officer who mistook her gun for a taser, quits force, is charged with manslaughter

The police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright last weekend in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota was charged Wednesday with manslaughter. She will be in court today for the first time. She was arrested on Wednesday but released after posing $100,000 bond.

Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran police officer, was training another officer when they pulled over Wright for an expired registration. During the confrontation, Potter pulled her gun and shot Wright. She claims she mistook her gun for the taser she also carries with her.

It’s An Honor

Oregon journalist wins Impact Award

Student braved tear gas and other dangers to provide news of racial justice protests

Eddy Binford-Ross of South Salem High School in Oregon has been named the winner of the 2021 Student Journalist Impact Award by the Journalism Education Association and Quill and Scroll because of her fearless reporting of social justice protests in both Salem and Portland.

Jeff Browne, the executive director of Quill and Scroll made the announcement via video during the virtual National High School Journalism Conference on April 10.

The NME is not your enemy!

News Media Evaluation critique service is ready for your publications

You have until June 15 to enter your news magazine, newspaper, online news site or multimedia/multi-platform into the prestigious News Media evaluation critique service sponsored by Quill and Scroll. We have a team of professional journalists, journalism professors and skilled former journalism advisers (Hall of Famers, all) ready to provide valuable feedback that your staffs can build on for next year. We GUARANTEE that you will receive your rating and feedback before Sept. 1, 2021.

Here’s a video tutorial that explains the levels of service and how to enter.


Apply now for Quill and Scroll scholarships before applications close

The Quill and Scroll scholarship applications for both students and advisers are open now on our website! Interested in applying? Read below for information on both student and adviser scholarships.

Each year we award a number of scholarships to students and advisers focused on continuing their education or career in journalism. Scholarships are funded by our Quill and Scroll scholarship fund. In 2020, we awarded four student scholarships and one adviser scholarship.

Student Scholarships

All Quill and Scroll members as well as national winners in our Yearbook Excellence Contest and International Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest are eligible to apply for our student scholarships. Applicants must intend to major in journalism or a related area of communications to qualify for the award. The scholarship can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university. The top prize is $1,500, with other prizes of $500 available.

The student scholarship application deadline is May 15, 2021. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2021.

Adviser Scholarship

The Lester G. Benz Scholarship of $500 is available to teachers who:

  • teach at a Quill and Scroll school,
  • have at least one year teaching high school journalism and/or advising publications,
  • plan to return to the high school classroom and media advising next year AND
  • will apply the information gained in the course work, seminar or workshop taken as a result of this scholarship.

Two letters of recommendation are required to apply. Applications are due by April 30, 2021. Last year’s winner was Laura Bowe of the King School in Connecticut.

Visit here for more information on adviser scholarships. 

Help for editors

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

A note from Kathleen Ortiz, Kingwood Park HS Student Advisory Board member

Hi there! On the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board we’re working on projects, and one of them is a monthly newsletter and a Discord chat for editors to use, so they can give and receive help, tips and ideas from other editors.

Advisers, if you could please send this Discord link to any of your editors who might be interested in being part of this new initiative, we would really appreciate it. We would like our network to really encompass and connect as many editors as we can.

Induction season!

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 (See Video Below) 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.

We encourage advisers to submit their induction orders sooner rather than later to ensure speedy fulfillment and delivery. As we get closer to the end of the school year, our order numbers tend to increase. Order now to receive your materials sooner!

Here’s a tutorial on filling out the regular order form, the one you’d use if you pay by check or purchase order, or if you have more to order than just memberships (with pins) and graduation cords.

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.

An improvised induction

If you’re still wondering about how you can do a safe induction in person, take this hint from the 2020 Quill and Scroll Chapter of the Year at Francis Howell North High School in Missouri and have it outside. By the way, the Chapter of the Year entry form is now available. Applications are due May 31.

What’s Viral?

‘Frank’ social network debuts

My Pillow founder will launch network that will block certain irreligious posts

Mike Lindell, the founder and owner of the My Pillow company and a close adviser to former President Donald Trump, will start his own social network Friday, April 16. He’s calling it simply “Frank,” and it has announced that it will ban posts that violate the Christian commandment to not “use the Lord’s name in vain.”

“You don’t get to use the four swear words: the c-word, the n-word, the f-word, or God’s name in vain,” Lindell said. He also claimed that conservatives will find a larger audience on Frank than they do on Twitter or Facebook, which he claims muzzle right-wing voices.

You can see a video of Lindell describing the network on its sign-up page.

Former ‘Bachelor’ comes out

Colton Underwood surprises the world with announcement on GMA

So, this is huge. Former “Bachelor,” uh, bachelor Colton Underwood came out as gay Wednesday morning on “Good Morning America.” Previously, he had been involved with Cassie Randolph, a former contestant. Their history is long and complicated, but after their initial breakup in early 2020, she filed a restraining order against him. In the interview, Underwood also mentions how his Catholic upbringing and other factors impacted his view on the LGBTQ+ community.

Ice cream for racial justice

Ben & Jerry’s calls for dismantling and rebuilding current criminal justice system

Ben & Jerry’s has come out with messages in favor of defunding the police after the killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. People have lots to say about it — it creates an interesting dialogue on whether brands should become involved in happenings “outside” of their genre.

Just A Thought

Jackie Robinson Day

April 15 isn’t just about baseball, it’s about this country moving forward

It was 74 years ago today that Jackie Robinson pulled on his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform and ran onto Ebbetts Field to be the first Black man to play in a Major League Baseball game.

Of course, back in 1947, the former Negro National League and the Negro American League weren’t considered major leagues despite all evidence — namely head-to-head matchups between white and Black players during the offseason — that the NNL and the NAL were just as good and maybe better than either the National League or the American League.

Three months later, in July 1947, Larry Doby took the field for the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first Black man to play in an American League baseball game. Because of integration in the Major Leagues, the Negro American League played its final game in 1951.

Robinson’s and Doby’s bravery are examples of how we can move forward in this country today, and they should always be remembered for their contributions to creating a more equitable country.

Major League Baseball also recently pulled its 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia, moving it to Colorado, because of recently enacted voting laws in Georgia that appear to restrict access to the ballot for many persons of color.

In his column today, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes another big step forward for equality in MLB.