Dec. 11, 2023

Our past three editions

Dec. 4, 2023 Melatonin use • Teacher contracts • Journalistic use of AI

Nov. 13, 2023 Decorated steering wheels • AI deepfakes • Screentime

Oct. 23, 2023 Healthcare premiums • Lunchables for lunch • WNBA champs



Home is where the germs are

Time to revisit best cleaning practices

It seems there’s more than just a little dirt on shoes. With an increase in people getting together during the holiday season, a recent CNN article addresses why shoes should be removed when visiting someone else’s home — of just entering your own. The article cites a study that indicates about 99% of shoe bottoms test positive for fecal matter alone.

The video included at the top of the story took samples from around two houses and with some interesting results. The toilet seat was one of the cleaner areas while the entry floor, front door, kitchen sink and kitchen sponge harbored more bacteria and viruses.

What you can do —

What are some ways students can mitigate any harmful bacteria and viruses in their home? You might want to include why the “five second rule” isn’t such a great mantra to live by.

While we might have been more fixated on cleaning where we live and what we touch during the pandemic, it might be good to highlight why we should clean common areas of homes.

Journalists could talk to science teachers and collaborate on examining some of the areas of the school or their own homes as well.


Swifites unite over Time’s Person of the Year

It’s more than just her music

It’s Taylor Swift’s era. Time recently named Taylor Swift its Person of the Year.

What you can do —

If you haven’t already, examine the influence Swift has had over teens (and everyone else). Whether it’s her music, her music, her impact on pop culture (think friendship bracelets alone) or even the uptick in Kansas City Chief football viewers. She’s more than that though. She also donates to local charities and communities. Media could look at how teens have embraced her storytelling in pop songs and positive messages.

What’s viral

Pantone is all about Peach Fuzz

It’s more than just the color

Many await Pantone’s color of the year announcement — and it’s Peach Fuzz. According to Time, the company selected the color because of its tranquility as it reminds us to be compassionate and be connected.

What you can do —

Aside from the obvious fashion coverage on the color of the year, other content could include  how people are reconnecting after the turmoil of the past few years. While this type of retrospective coverage is common at the end of a calendar year, the need to connect as a community could be a newer spin. Examine how students have prioritized their mental and physical health after the pandemic.

Additionally, the story addresses the color’s tactile references in name. Fuzzy blankets, squishmellows and other similar items seem to be everywhere in stores. How have students embraced this trend in their spaces where they live?

Also, ask an art teacher, graphic design teacher or their students about their thoughts on the color of the year.


It’s always membership season

Don’t forget you can nominate members year round

Winter has begun, so don’t be left out in the cold. Nominate students for membership order pins, cords and other Quill and Scroll materials and memorabilia.

We haven’t changed the ordering process from last year. For those wanting to ditch the paper version, you just need to select the form based on how you would like to pay. We have one version for credit card and another version for check or purchase order. (We’ve added buttons for ease of finding these.) As usual, credit card payments are charged $4.49 per order for processing. 

> Start the process here.

Scroll publishing will hold for next week, week after

We will not be publishing the Weekly Scroll during traditional school breaks.

We will break for the weeks of Dec. 18, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 because of winter breaks. We will resume publishing Jan. 8.

Also, Quill and Scroll offices will close Dec. 20-Jan. 1. We will return to the office Jan. 2.

Meet, collaborate and discuss with peers

Quill and Scroll’s Student Journalism Collaboration Program, which is a discussion forum for students, will continue hosting discussion forums this school year. 

The Student Journalism Collaboration Program aims to connect student journalists from across the nation. Through virtual meetings, participants will discuss, collaborate and troubleshoot with their peers about scholastic journalism issues pertaining to their student media.

Our second meeting will take tonight from 7-8 p.m. Central, and our topic of discussion will be fundraising

Please ask interested students to fill out this form by noon CST today. Once students fill out the form, they will automatically receive a notification for all subsequent meetings. Participants who signed up prior to today will also receive the Zoom link the Sunday prior to the event. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Sorry advisers, this is a student-only offering.

WPM contest opens, YEC results released last week

It’s contest season again! We’ve opened our 2024 Writing, Photo/Design and Multimedia Awards. Please make a note — all entries and payments will be due Feb. 2.

The due date will be here before you know it so start thinking about what you want to enter. For those who entered last year, you will see the same submission process as last year. 

Be aware, we have changed a few items and descriptions. If you would rather make a PDF of the submission, you may still do this as well. Please make sure to allow anyone with the link to view.  Remember, we don’t accept a Google document for an entry. We only accept published work. 

Please make sure to include either your credit card payments or check or purchase order when you enter. The link provided on the site will take you directly to the credit card or check/purchase order page for the order. The WPM category payment option is at the bottom of the page.

Please reach out if you have any questions.

First Amendment Press Freedom Award entries due Friday

The Journalism Education Association has opened applications for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award. 

This award recognized schools who actively support and honor the First Amendment through its student media programs. The award focuses on press freedom and a jury looks at the entire student media program at the school: digital and print newspaper, yearbook and student broadcast.

Round One questions must be completed by a student editor and an adviser or administrator filling out separate forms. Please read and respond carefully to Round One questions. Even if your school has received FAPFA recognition before, you must reapply each year.

Information and Round One submission forms for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award are available at this link and the Scholastic Press Rights Committee has a video available.

Just a thought

As the all-important question of truth and facts continues to dominate current affairs, it may come as no surprise to learn that Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is “authentic.”

As journalists and journalism teachers, this should come as no surprise. Journalism has been maligned by some as propaganda and fake.

The recent Sports Illustrated fiasco in which AI writers with fake online bios, which we highlighted last week, doesn’t help journalism either. As journalists, we need to work to educate our readers on how we do journalism. Media literacy is more important than ever. 

During our last Student Advisory Board meeting, we had quite a discussion about being authentic and how AI could impact that. Some of the student advisory board members also talked about how they have used tools (like Grammarly) to help with proofing. We’re all excited and some skeptical on where this goes.

During Quill and Scroll’s initiation ceremony, the first candle lit is the light of truth. This is not by accident. The light of truth is what should guide all of us in our practice of journalism. In order to be authentic in the practice of journalism, we must center truth and notify our readers if and how AI is used in writing, photo, storytelling, etc.

As we look into the new year, I have hope we will continue to hold truth at the center of all journalism practice. As we’ve stated before, we still write the Scroll the old-fashioned way, and if we use something like AI to generate content or write the Scroll, we will let you know. 

Have a wonderful holiday season and new year!

— Lori Keekley