The Weekly Scroll for Friday, Oct. 27

News, tips and advice from the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society.
Compiled and written by Marni Wax.

The Lede:

It’s OK — you don’t have to be the best at everything.

Many high school students, especially successful ones, are under stress more than not. Here is Jake’s story. During his junior year of high school, he was taking three Advanced Placement classes, running on his school’s cross-country team and traveling to Model United Nations conferences constantly. It’s fair to say…it was a lot to handle, but Jake was learning how to handle things like he always had. What happens when we live in a culture that expects this of many? There are probably dozens of stories like this at your high school. How can you tell a few of them, while at the same time placing them in proper historical and sociological context.

Yes, your voices are being heard.

The New York Times received more than 1,000 letters from high school students on a wide range of topics in response to a contest. The most popular subjects included Donald Trump, teenage anxiety, NFL kneeling, birth control, Columbus Day, Harvey Weinstein, Puerto Rico and the Boy Scouts. Pretty heavy for contest writing, am I right? Here are the 20 letters they liked most. Are there any topics here that you could follow up on for your student news sites/publications?

The bubble is popped by a car key.

I remember when I started driving, my parents felt like they had to keep me in a bubble whenever they could. Did yours? It’s a dreadful moment to parents, no matter if they are coaching them to drive or waving as they leave the driveway. For too many families, that independence comes at a devastating cost. Just last year, 76 teens were killed in car crashes in Illinois. Find out what the state is doing to change that. What are the statistics in your state? Are there any personal stories of survival and/or tragedy that your school and community could learn from? After all, journalism’s main focus is to help us all be more informed so that we can live better lives for ourselves and for others. 

It’s an honor:

What’s it like to be a part of something bigger than yourself?

Go to our Facebook page to learn how to share your testimony about what it means to be a member of Quill and Scroll. Or you can go to the Quill and Scroll website to give a more detailed story about your connection to Q&S.


PDF of fall 2017 issue of Q&S magazine up on issu.


Does anyone have any video footage of their induction ceremonies? We would love to feature your students in a video! Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

What’s Viral:

EXTRA EXTRA! Report all about it.

Jeff Glor will take over the chair as the CBS news anchor, a chair once filled by Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather and Katie Couric, among others. Glor has reported for CBS News globally, and has recently anchored numerous breaking news stories, including most recently in the field for Hurricane Irma and in the studio for the Las Vegas shootings. Looks like he’s ready for the big leagues!

Digital will from now on conquer all.

See, digital does take over all! Tyler Fleming, senior and editor of The Daily Tar Heel student newspaper at the University of North Carolina, isn’t stuck in old news trends or the decision-making that comes with them. But…the problem for most of us is figuring out how to be always on when that’s not humanly possible. Cue technology. Tyler is going to explore many of those “Table Stakes” in detail in the near future. So what are Table Stakes?

And here is Poynter’s Q&A with Fleming Ryan Nave of Mississippi Today..

Picking and choosing what they share.

PBS’ “Frontline” is turning “biased editing” around as it will make available outtakes, or portions of interviews that had been edited out of final packages. That can involve tons of reporting you rarely see. By coincidence, it serves as a response to the question: Are there ways to better demonstrate the depth of our reporting, fight back against claims of “fake news,” and prove “we are not winging it?” Here is Frontline’s cache of interviews done for their current two-part series “Putin’s Revenge.” Enjoy looking at what has been usually left out.

Just a Thought:

Google is the goal.

News readers first pick a publication and then look for headlines that interest them. Google has changed that process with its computer-generated Google News site. How do you make it in Google News?? Click here to find out!

Being broad is boring.

When many reporters are just starting, they typically pitch story ideas by saying they want to write about “the homeless,” or “drug gangs,” or “teen mothers.” Of course, these are all interesting and important topics, but they are WAY too broad. SO SPECIALIZE! Discover why it is so important to plan what you report, and stay specific.

Social media is more than just a social medium.

Journalists are groomed now to share their work on social media. But it’s not just about the sharing…it’s about using social media as a greater reporting school for so much more than sharing you work. So here’s a list of tips and tools that many find useful when creating and reporting stories. Where do we start?

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