April 13, 2023

Our past three editions

April 6, 2023 South storms • Banned books • Gwyneth Paltrow

March 30, 2023 Teens suing over climate change • House parental rights bill • Northern lights

March 23, 2023 Gender-affirming care • MSU shooting • Earthquake scammers

THE LEDE  |  by Alex Steil

Medicaid to wind-down in five states

Said to be biggest disruption in healthcare since ACA

After President Joe Biden announced the end of a national emergency pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, five states announced an immediate end to their medicaid services. More states are expected to wind-down their services in either May or June, with just a handful waiting until further in the year.

What you can do —

There are two main ways to tackle this story: first, if you know your student population relied heavily on this type of government assistance, which is now ending, simply interviewing students about what the effect of this is going to be for them and their family is a good first step. Asking the basic questions like, “What is the impact of lost assistance on your family” is a good starting place to localize the issue at hand.

In addition, a piece like the above one could include local organizations that will offer (now) supplemental assistance to families that will no longer receive these federal benefits. Talk to local organizations about how this change will impact them. How can students help? Are they able to volunteer or run a food/supplies drive to help? (This would be a great end of the year Quill and Scroll Chapter project.)

The other way to tackle this story is to present a data story. Telling the story of ended assistance, either through visual infographics or other forms of data presentation, will help students have a grasp of how to use numbers in their reporting for future products.


Leaked Pentagon documents bring up ethical questions

Documents leaks are topical time to discuss journalistic ethics

The New York Times has been reporting this past week on the publication of leaked documents coming from the Pentagon that detail highly sensitive intelligence about the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war. The documents were posted on social media platforms back in March, but are just now being discovered.

What you can do —

This scenario offers a poignant example for teaching journalistic ethics: not only a staff-ed. based on the opinion of your staff on this issue, but also providing resources for your peers that educate them by providing a resource to help them understand sourcing and leaked information guidelines.

Another take could be tackling a specific area of press law: censorship. Through teaching New York Times v. United States, students can get a tangible sense for when the government can and cannot censor stories. Since this scenario touches on the direct question in the case, students could have a robust discussion about whether the current publication of documents meets that threshold.

You could also examine the New Voices legislation that is burgeoning its way through many states. Your staff could either become a part of the process in your state to advocate for its passage (if it has already been introduced) or urge lawmakers to introduce it if there hasn’t been any movement on it. 17 states have passed it, with West Virginia being the most recent, having been passed within the past month.

What’s viral

New Super Mario movie released

Comes 30 years after the original

A new Super Mario movie was released last week, already receiving poor reviews. The New York Times described the film as “witless” and “bland,” and that “attitude is all wrong.” The last Mario movie was released 30 years ago.

What you can do —

Students could review this movie, which has student appeal, and include a throwback to other movies with roots in gaming.


Final student discussion opportunity from Quill and Scroll’s Student Advisory Board

Conversation will be leadership

Quill and Scroll’s Student Journalism Collaboration Program connects student journalists from across the nation. Through virtual meetings, participants discuss, collaborate and troubleshoot with their peers about scholastic journalism issues pertaining to their student media.

Our next meeting will take place May 2 from 6-7 p.m. Central, and our topic of discussion will be leadership. If you’ve already filled out the form, you will automatically receive it for all subsequent meetings. If you haven’t, fill out this form by April 30 to be included. Those who have filled out the form will receive a zoom link 24 hours prior to the meeting. We look forward to seeing you!

It’s the height of membership season so now is the time to order!

Don’t forget we need at least three weeks to process orders — and our mail service is slow

We’ve now hit the busiest season of the year, but don’t let that deter you. Just remember, we need at least three weeks lead time from when you order and the date it is needed. Also, we need to have either payment or the purchase order in order to send your order. 

We are not receiving mail on a daily basis. This is beyond our control. We are processing orders as soon as we can, but orders sent through the U.S. Postal Service may experience delays. The quickest way to submit an order is via our online system. If paying with a purchase order, you can submit the PO number and then we will still ship. If you want to use the paper version, that is fine. We suggest scanning and emailing these documents.

We will not be processing orders during the week of April 17 since we will be at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco. You may still submit your orders. They will be processed when we return in the order they were received. Currently, we are processing orders within a one-week timeframe upon receipt. This timing will change soon, so please plan accordingly. 

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.) This error is delaying several orders.

> Start the process here.

2023 Chapter of the Year application deadline extended

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Quill and Scroll Vanessa Shelton Chapter of the Year Award until May 1. 

Chapters must have had initiated members in each of the past three years.

During the past 96 years, Quill and Scroll has granted charters to more than 11,400 schools around the world. When a school’s journalism program receives its charter, students in the school begin a Quill and Scroll chapter there. Quill and Scroll does not dictate how active a chapter should be, but the organization’s Chapter Manual does provide some guidance on the value of an “active chapter,” the activities it may engage in, and its general goals:

“The chapter can accomplish these goals: 

(1) inspire members of the staff to greater efforts; 

(2) attract students of higher ability to publications/media work by offering them journalistic recognition and honors; 

(3) provide incentive for the development of the journalism department and the improvement of school publications/media; and 

(4) secure greater recognition of journalism work by students, school officials and the community.”

The deadline is May 1, 2023, and the winner will be mid-May. The application form is on our website. Applications are free and winners will receive a plaque, $250 for the classroom, four free memberships and honor cords and one member spot on our Student Advisory Board.

Scholarships for Advisers, Students

Adviser application deadline is April 14; student deadline is May 12

Quill and Scroll will award scholarships again this year to journalism advisers and their students who want to study and/or practice journalism in college.

The $250 Lester G. Benz Scholarship goes to an adviser who undertakes a professional development activity over the summer or in the 2023-24 academic year.

The award can be used to attend a National High School Journalism Convention, to pay for tuition for a university course in a relevant subject area, or for a summer workshop, the JEA Summer Advisers Institute or a local summer workshop in your state, to name a few.

Applications are now being accepted. Deadline is April 14, 2023.

The award is named after former Quill and Scroll Executive Director Lester G. Benz.

Student scholarship applications are now open, and they’re for students who are Quill and Scroll members or for students who have won awards in any number of Quill and Scroll contests. Apply for the grants — which can pay up to $1,500 for your first year in college — before May 12.

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.

We are excited to announce Quill and Scroll will hand out its Writing, Photo and Multimedia and Private School Journalism Association awards from 8-10 a.m. Saturday morning. An email invite will be sent Friday to advisers of students who have placed in these contests.

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.

Chapter activity/discussion point idea:

Russia jails U.S. WSJ journalist

Highlights different roles press plays in other countries

Russia jailed a Wall Street Journal reporter on Thursday, alleging he was spying for the American government and is holding him on espionage charges. Russia has provided no evidence for the charges. The reporter, Evan Gershkovich, was born to Soviet-born parents and has previously stated he felt a strong sense of connection to Russia.

As a Chapter, you can investigate the state of free speech around the world. For those who are interested in international reporting, in any capacity, do they fully understand the risks associated with reporting in war-torn areas or under repressive regimes? Examining the factors that go into a free press, such as a supportive government and populous, are good starting points. Pew Research has broken down some of the aspects that go into maintaining press freedom.

A chapter also could discuss why journalists go into these areas to report. This AP News article highlights the concern for the journalists and the need for foreign reporting. 

Just a thought

We have one week until we leave for the JEA/NSPA High School Journalism Convention. We will not be in town the week of April 17. Because of this, we again will not be publishing a Scroll or able to ship overnight orders. We also will not publish a Scroll for the week of April 24 and the week because of the amount of orders we anticipate processing during this time. 

Please make sure you plan accordingly and order your induction and graduation merchandise now. We need three weeks to process and send your order, so if your induction will happen the week of May 1, make sure to send in your order now. We are able to process online orders quicker than the paper versions.

— Lori Keekley