The Weekly Scroll for Feb 16


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

The Lede:

The Parkland Tragedy. 

What were you doing at 19? Or what do you plan to be? For Nikolas Cruz, it was to seek revenge on his former South Florida high school. Heavily armed, he opened fire on the high school campus at the end of the school day on Wednesday, killing 17 people while terrified students “barricaded themselves” inside classrooms. The Broward County sheriff identified the suspect as Nikolas Cruz, who had recently been kicked out of the school for “disciplinary reasons.” Click here to learn more about the horrendous day.

A powerhouse protecting publications.

As a high-school student, Adam Morfeld was placed with the heartache of being threatened to be expelled for distributing a homemade “underground” newspaper. Joke is on those higher ranking school officials though, look what Morfeld is up to. Recently, state senator Adam Morfeld sat before the Nebraska Senate Judiciary Committee and expressed his reasoning to protect student journalists and their advisors. All coverage is important, especially the coverage that might not be flattering. Educate yourselves guys. YOU GO, MORFELD!!

It’s also Black History Month. 

As we celebrate Black History Month in 2018, we are STILL facing remarkable challenges. Once again…we hear preaching of white nationalism and see bigotry overwhelming our social media feeds. But now, there are finally more white parents realizing that they are equally responsible for preparing their children to fight injustice of minorities around them. Check out the progress (or lack of) that we have made in the past several hundred years.

Straight-up racist gets fired, as he should. 

Fox News has deleted (because they had to) a column in which executive editor and executive vice president John Moody wrote about the U.S. Olympic Committee. Apparently they wanted to change the current Olympic motto from “swifter, higher, stronger” to “darker, gayer, different.” SHAME ON YOU, MOODY! See how many readers you gain and how many opinions you can give now. Click here to read what other preposterous things he said.

It’s An Honor!

We are proud of you and your insights.

When one of our own creates an incredible and important piece, it is a necessity to share. The Kirkwood Call looks at diversity and the importance of surrounding yourself with those that are like you, as well as not like you.

“While Miller was surrounded by a racially homogenous faculty, Clarke Shead, senior, sat in her AP United States History class, and she too was surrounded. Not only was she a student of color in the mostly white classroom, but she said she felt as though she couldn’t relate to the person teaching the course. All she wanted was to learn the content, but as her teacher began another lesson on the enslavement of her people, the only thing she could think about was the whiteness of their skin”. Click here to read more of this remarkable work. 

Adviser scholarship applications open

Advisers in active Quill and Scroll chapters have until April 15 to apply for the Lester G. Benz Memorial Scholarship for College Journalism Study. All high school journalism teachers, and newspaper and yearbook advisers who have had at least six semester hours of journalism courses; a minimum of four years teaching experience and advising school publications; currently teaching a journalistic writing class; and a definite commitment to return to the high school classroom and publication advising next year to apply the information gained in the coursework taken as a result of this scholarship. The scholarship program’s objective is to identify and reward experienced journalism teachers and publication advisers (as defined above) who seek the opportunity to upgrade their journalism skills, teaching methodologies and advising techniques.

It’s that time of the year

If you’re at an active Quill and Scroll charter school, you are probably thinking about who’s going to be inducted into the honor society this spring. Some of you may already know the date, the time and the honorees. If you aren’t quite sure how this whole induction thing works, check out our Student Memberships page to learn more about the qualifications. Scroll down to see the various awards you can get to commemorate your induction.

We also have scripts for the induction ceremony if you do it with candles or sans candles. Both are pretty cool.

And, if you’re within a few hours of Iowa City, Quill and Scroll Executive Director just might be able to attend your ceremony and say a few words. Just send him an email and ask.

Yearbook Excellence Contest Winners.

I can’t wait for the day that I pull out my yearbook and show my kids all the outstanding outfits and hairstyles their mom had at their age. However, my best friend from high school will be able to say that she won an award when showing hers! Will you or your friends share that same gift? Congratulations, winners!

Writing, Photo and Multimedia entries are in

Quill and Scroll received more than 2,100 entries over 23 categories in the 2018 International Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest by the Feb. 6 deadline. Thanks to all our members and soon-to-be members for submitting entries.

All of the entries are now in the hands of our judges, who include more than a dozen professional journalists, a few JEA Carl Towley Award winners and several NSPA Pioneers. Judges have about three weeks to complete their task, at which point, Quill and Scroll will announce the Sweepstakes Winners (first-place in all 23 categories), Blue and Gold winners (the schools that achieve the best), and National Winners (first three places and honorable mentions).

As always, Quill and Scroll will honor the top 10 percent of entries in each category, so the early spring announcement of winners will include more than 200 students, all of whom will be eligible for Quill and Scroll scholarships.

What’s Viral:

Protection for journalists from those who would harm them.

CALLING OUT PRESIDENT TRUMP for “creating a climate of extreme hostility to the press.”  Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, introduced a bill this week to make it a federal crime to assault a journalist. YOU GO, MAN; it’s about time. The act is called the “Journalist Protection Act,” the bill would amend the chapter of the federal code that protects federal agents from the truth of journalism. It’s needed, folks.

The Perils of Paid Content. 

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, This Magazine, a spunky little lefty magazine in Toronto sprouted. The magazine’s slogan was “nobody owns us”, by which they meant two things. First, there was no corporate owner calling the shots, and second, there were no advertisers to speak of (which say what you want…can or can’t be a good thing). Basically…brought no independence. Pretty much everywhere you go in life, there’s always an owner, there is always somebody to answer to, someone calling the shots, and you will at one point or another be seen as the underdog (usually more frequently than not). Check out why there is always a top down format of paid content.

Just a Thought:

Experience brings the best advice.

Journalism as a profession is more art than science (thank god, because I am horrible at experiments). However, there are few rules of the trade, and no official list of industry do’s and don’ts…which is what makes it so incredible. This unofficial pipeline of advice from current journalists is more important in current times than ever before. Check out how these journalist have built up their careers then and now.


This collection of tools came from several journalism instructors’ contributions to the ONA Educators Facebook page. Check out any and all good things social media here, as well as the applications to make your life a heck of a lot easier when producing content.

Science journalism? I’ll take it.

During a session at the 2014 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, Henriette Löwisch  addressed a  few more than serious stigmas surrounding science journalism (shocked? not). She also offered aspiring science journalists some sound advice. Check out her wisdom and astounding insights here.

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