Feb. 23, 2023

Our past three editions

Feb. 16, 2023 Gender-affirming care • MSU shooting • Earthquake scammers

Feb. 9, 2023 School lunch • Debt ceiling • China balloon

Feb. 2, 2023 Toy gun • Sports betting • Tyre Nichols


THE LEDE  |  by Alex Steil

Schumer calls for banning TikTok

Concern for data collection cited

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) announced last week his openness to supporting a national TikTok ban, saying it is something that “should be looked at.” The bill has bipartisan support, after members of both parties introduced legislation to banTikTok this Congress.

What you can do —

Students seemingly spend more time on TikTok than other platforms. How would they react if there was suddenly a nationwide ban? Has your state already made efforts to ban the platform in your local schools — if so, what are your students thinking?

Much of the reasoning behind the ban centers around the app’s data collection. Talk to a cybersecurity representative or researcher. Why should teens be concerned about this?

Your publication could produce a staff-ed looking at whether or not such a ban is worth it, by weighing the various arguments on each side. Is there really a national security concern? Is the app dangerously addictive for students?


Debt-relief program highlights dominant narrative about education

Are our leaders getting it right?

The Washington Post wrote a Sunday piece detailing the struggles of the student loan system, along with its structural flaws. This comes after more lawmakers joined the pending lawsuit to stop the student debt forgiveness program.

What you can do —

There has been a focus on teaching and education, especially as it has become more politicized and more central to conversations. 

Not only could your publication look at national rhetoric, but it could also examine its local leaders: are they getting it right? Are they addressing concerns that actually matter to students — like career-learning education or cheaper higher education? 

What is the impact of this on your teaching staff who might qualify or on current seniors? This might be even more relevant since many will soon receive final acceptance letters and financial aid packages. Journalists could also provide ideas for how to read these and compare offers from schools.

What’s viral

New Marvel provides new avenues for franchise

Marvel released a new Ant-Man superhero movie, which included post-credits that opened up avenues for new villains and other storylines within the universe.

What you can do —

Arts students could produce reviews of the movie itself, officially called “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” and let their peers know whether the film actually leaves something to be desired. On the other hand, budding-movie critics could write about the potential for new characters within the superhero film industry.


It’s membership season

Don’t forget we need at least three weeks to process orders!

We are on the cusp of the busiest season of the year. Order now to avoid the spring rush. Remember, we need to have either payment or the Purchase Order in order to send your order. It can take up to three weeks to process and send an order during the peak spring season, which traditionally starts next month.

We are unable to overnight orders this week because of the snowstorm in Minneapolis. We also will not be processing orders since we will be at conventions during the weeks of March 5 and April 17.

Also, as a gentle reminder, our address changed in July 2022. Many business offices are still sending checks and orders to Iowa, which can result in a delay in sending orders. Please make sure to inform your business offices of our move to Minnesota. (Quill and Scroll, 2829 University Ave. SE, Suite 720, Minneapolis, MN 55414.)

> Start the process here.

Student Journalist Impact Award

Has your reporting made a difference in your community? Apply by March 15

The Student Journalist Impact Award recognizes a secondary school student (or a team of students who worked on the same entry) who, through the study and practice of journalism, has made a significant difference in his/her/their own life, the lives of others, the school he/she/they attends and/or the community in which he/she/they resides. (NOTE: This is not a scholarship competition. Do not send transcripts.)

This award is co-sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists. Quill and Scroll became a co-sponsor in 2018.

PSJA Journalism Contest Opens

Q&S and Private School Journalism Association set up portfolio contest

The PSJA Journalism Contest, co-sponsored by Quill and Scroll, seeks to honor the best journalism produced by private and independent school students. It is a “portfolio” contest, one that seeks not to reward single stories, but a pattern of excellence over the course of a year.

Other than Editorial Leadership, work produced for the contest should have been published in a news publication — in print or online — or a yearbook between April 1, 2022 and March 30, 2023. Deadline for entries will be Friday, March 31, 2023. An awards ceremony will occur after judging is finalized.

For PSJA members, the cost for your school is $20 per entry. PSJA membership is free. To join, schools must enroll here to also receive the newsletter. Non-members pay $25 per entry. To become a member, email PSJA Director David Cutler ([email protected]) and sign up for the PSJA newsletter.

If you are interested in entering the contest, email PSJA Director David Cutler ([email protected]), who will send additional instructions and an entry form.

Spring convention registration opens 

Join us in San Francisco for the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. This year’s convention will be at the Hilton Union Square. Registration and the hotel link was sent to all registrants Feb. 14. Leave Your Heart, Find Your Voice at the JEA/NSPA spring convention April 20-22.

Workshop set for June 26-29, in Dallas

The Gloria Shields NSPA Media Workshop returns to the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum by the Galleria June 26-29, 2023, with bonus classes on June 25. Workshop registration is $140 per student or adviser.  The extra cost for the Sunday bonus class is $20 per person.

In 2022, 635 students from 90 schools took advantage of the instruction from our exceptional faculty. Watch the workshop website for additional 2023 workshop details as they become available.

> Watch the preview video for 2023.

Free Spirit Conference Applications available until March 1

2023 Free Spirit Conference: In June 2023, the Freedom Forum will host its annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference for high school juniors. Students selected for the program receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the nation’s capital where they are introduced to top journalists, as well as a $1,000 scholarship to the college of their choice. Applications are due March 1.

Chapter activity/discussion point idea: Induction planning

It’s time to start planning your spring Quill and Scroll induction ceremony. We leave the decisions as to how Quill and Scroll induction happens up to each Chapter. With that in mind, we have a few starter questions for the group.

A few items to start: 

  • If applicable, how were students inducted last year? What went well and what would students like to change?
  • What is the induction target date? How much time do we have to plan?
  • Where will we have the event? (Make arrangements to reserve the area if necessary.)
  • Will we have a speaker?
  • Who else might we invite? Parents? Other students? School dignitary such as a principal? 
  • Is it at the journalism banquet or other honorific event? 
  • Are we going to have cake or some other food item?
  • Will it take place in person?
  • Are you allowed to have candles at the event?
  • How much time will we be able to allocate for the initiation? 
  • Which induction script will work best with what you have already discussed? 

Just a thought

Part 2 of 2

Last week’s Just a Thought centered on ideas on how to use The Lede as a teaching tool and using the It’s an Honor section as announcements. This week is about looking at some of the Chapter activities in the classroom. 

For the most part, these activities are easily translatable into an easy lesson plan. 

For example, for the AI photography idea, a teacher could start with the question of how do we trust what we see? How do student and professional journalists ensure readers trust the images in student media is real? The teacher then could show the AI photo grouping and ask students to identify the real vs. the AI photos. 

After this, ask students about what they see in their own social media. They could even keep a record of what they see, the source, and how they could check the veracity of the image and information. (You could even couple this with last week’s story idea of the fake donation sites for victims of the earthquake in Syria.)

The activity could be expanded into a search for manipulated news photos. Ask students what the impact of these could be on readers — and the believability of news.

— Lori Keekley