October 4, 2021

The Lede

By Lauren White
Q&S Communications Director

Columbus Day

How does your school and/or community mark this controversial holiday?

While the federal holiday has been in effect for as long as we remember, in 1992, 500 years after Christopher Columbus’ first voyage, the first official organization of “Indigenous People’s Day” took place. This is now the holiday that many Americans choose to recognize rather than Columbus Day.

What does your city or state celebrate?

Here’s what you can do: 

With the holiday a week from today there may be different demonstrations or celebrations taking place soon.

  • If there are any events in your area, attend those and ask the people coordinating them what they are celebrating for. If in favor of Columbus Day, ask them why and what they think of the recognition of Indigenous People’s Day. For those who are celebrating Indigenous People’s Day, ask why they feel it is important to recognize the native people.
  • If there are not any events taking place, this is a good time for an enterprise story about the day. Talk to Indigenous people or groups in your state as well as historians at any local colleges or museums.
    • When writing an enterprise, or long-form, story, it is important to do plenty of background research. Use historical documents as well as current quotes.
    • Use a lot of visuals. These can be photos, charts, graphs, or pull quotes. This helps to catch further interest and break up graphs of text and make he story more visually appealing.
    • Start this story right away as it may take longer than a typical story.

Parents say Yes! (Kinda)

The number of parents willing to vaccinate children increases

A new survey found that more parents want to give their children the Covid-19 vaccine compared to July of this year. This number is still only 34 percent, which rose from 26 percent.

Additionally, 58 percent of parents say that schools should have a mask mandate, 35 percent oppose a mask mandate and 4 percent think that only unvaccinated students and staff should feel compelled to wear a mask.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Poll your school to see how much of the student body is vaccinated. The easiest way to do this is with a service like Google Forms, which not only allow you to see each individual anonymously and breaks down the entire survey with a pie chart you can create easily.
    • Check out this tutorial from DataQuest on how to conduct a great survey.
  • You should include comments from a few pediatricians in your story. They should tell you what effects may look like for children as well as their own personal recommendations.

Rural Diversity

Gap between white residents and others continues to shrink

Rural communities in the U.S.are not typically known for being racially or ethnically diverse. While non-Hispanic White people still make up the largest portion of rural America, the gap decreased by almost 5 percent by 2020.

As a country that prides itself on its tradition as a “melting pot” or “tossed salad” (you pick the food analogy that makes most sense for you), we should be celebrating an increase of diversity in communities across the U.S.

Here’s what you can do: 

  • First,  you should find the demographics of your own city. This can be found using U.S. Census data or call your city manager to find our the more recent data.
  • You can also connect with historians and racial studies professors at nearby universities to learn about the background of diversity in your sate as well as why the demographics look the way they do.
  • There are plenty of reasons why your town may or may not be racially diverse. You need to remain sensitive to what communities and historians have to say in order to promote an increase in diversity.

It’s An Honor

Yearbook Excellence deadline is Oct. 10

It sure is. Thirty categories, including pandemic coverage, and two classes of schools highlight the 2021 Q&S Yearbook Excellence Contest. The deadline is more than a month away (Oct. 10), but what better way to have your students critique last year’s book than by choosing the best entries for the world’s premier yearbook contest? (Answer: There isn’t a better way.)

NEW! PSJA Journalism Contest

The Private School Journalism Association has partnered with Quill and Scroll to honor the best journalism by private and independent school students. This “portfolio” contest looks to reward students for a pattern of excellence in journalistic work throughout an academic year.

With 12 potential entering categories, students can show off their chops from published news or yearbook material.

The deadline for entries is April 1, 2022. Students may submit work published between April 1 2021 and March 31 2022. A virtual awards ceremony will be held on May 15 to announce the winners. Additionally, the top placing school will win free memberships into Quill and Scroll.

Q&S and NSPA agreement

Quill and Scroll and the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) will work together to promote scholastic journalism and membership in Quill and Scroll.

While working together on this project, NSPA will include the opportunity for advisers to induct members into Quill and Scroll while also filling out NSPA member forms.

No matter how you choose to submit students for membership into Quill and Scroll, make sure you do so early! As competition season and graduation approaches in the Spring, our order numbers increase. There’s no harm in getting those memberships, graduation cords and pins delivered ASAP.

Alumni Service

Have you ever wondered if there’s someone like Fred “Mr.” Rogers (Greater Latrobe HS, 1946) or Debra Messing (East Greenwich HS, 1983) among your school’s Quill and Scroll alumni? How about journalists, writers and teachers such as Ryan Foley, Barbara Tholen, Dan Fellner, and Chris Barton. 

Quill and Scroll has the names of every student ever inducted into your school’s Q&S chapter. Those names are easy to access from the period 2004-2021, but it takes a little longer to get those names between 1926 and 2003, when all memberships were recorded on cards that now reside in the basement of the Adler Journalism Building here at the University of Iowa.

If you’re interested in building a list of distinguished journalism alumni from your school, just contact [email protected] and use the phrase “Q&S ALUMNI LIST” in your subject line. 

For a cost of $50/hour, we’ll retrieve those names and sort them for you by year of induction and get them back to you in time for a fundraising dinner or a special ceremony celebrating student journalism at your school.

What’s Viral?

Super Bowl Halftime

A star-studded lineup will perform for the 2022 big game

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar will all perform together for the very first time at the 2022 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show. The five performers have a combined 44 Grammys.

This Super Bowl is on Feb. 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The game hasn’t been in the Los Angeles area since 1993.

Here’s what you can do: 

These five iconic performers have a long-standing history in music. Delve into it! Study their music and what years they won Grammys. Whether you like their music or not, you can’t deny that they are legendary.

When covering music, you have to keep an opening mind to different genres. It helps to expand your current playlists in order to further understand and nods to old music.

Before watching the show, study up on the history of rap and R&B, I promise it doesn’t take the fun out of it. Doing this will actually give you an appreciation for the genre and how it has evolved.


China is cracking down on cartoons and children’s shows

The National Radio and Television Administration, the country’s broadcasting authority, announced that it would ban cartoons and other TV shows primarily produced for children that contain any mention of violence, blood, vulgarity or other inappropriate messaging.

Some users on Chinese social media pointed out that conflict is a part of life and that these cartoons offer a way to teach children about more complicated issues. Others said that if authorities were concerned about cartoons they should also consider banning classic literature that contains similar themes. Valuable argument.

Here’s what you can do: 

Every country has different guidelines for what is appropriate on TV. For example, the United States FCC has a section about what is not allowed to be aired. It all falls down into deciding what is considered obscene, indecent, and profane.

Alternatively, Canadian TV has okayed the use of “innocent” profanity in a newscast. So beware of some occasional f-bombs. So it’s always interesting to watch children’s televisions from across the world.

Ask families in your community what they think the rules on children’s television should be or what they would consider obscene, indecent, and profane. You’ll find that everyone has a different tolerance for what they want their kids to watch.

Just A Thought

Just another Manic Monday

The Weekly Scroll will now be sent out on Monday mornings rather than Thursday.

With a new month and new members to connect to, we wanted to switch things up! Monday mornings tend to be a hurdle, so we hope that reading the Scroll that morning will help to inspire a week full of stories and reporting.

If you have any questions about our new Scroll, feel free to reach out to Executive Director Jeff Browne at [email protected] or me, Communications Coordinator Lauren White, at [email protected] with any questions or comments. We always appreciate your feedback!

After all, this is our fifth year doing this service for student-journalists. We’re flattered by any similar pop-up services providing excellent story ideas!

Well that’s our thought for this Scroll. Have a great week and keep news alive.