The Weekly Scroll for March 9, 2018

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

The Lede:

Navigating Bad News

Pennsylvania’s Elizabethtown Area High School’s student newspaper found themselves in a tricky spot after posting a controversial interview with a school board member online without administration approval. Read more here about how students are coping with censorship attempts. 

A Touch of Modern Women’s History

“Nevertheless, She Persisted” is the 2018 Women’s History Month theme, inspired by the feminist rallying cry adapted from a response to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s actions last year. Fifteen iconic women will be honored in March by the National Women’s History Project. Time explains the full background of this year’s theme here.

#55Strong, West Virginia Teachers Strike

Teachers across the 55 counties of West Virginia abandoned their weakly compensated posts a the head of classrooms in recent days and struck instead. They gained some concessions from the state, including a 5 percent raise, and schools are now re-opening across the state.

News on New Voices Legislation

Passing the Washington New Voices Act, which aims to eliminate prior review requirements for student publications, has been Washington student journalist Mariah Valles’ priority for years. The bill would grant more freedoms to student writers and put less pressure on publications, allowing for more impactful content to be produced. Opposition to the legislation worries about student accountability and potential school liability. In Nebraska, New Voices legislation failed to pass during the 2018 session but proponents remain positive for 2019.

It’s an Honor:

Judging is complete.

All judges have submitted their choices in the 23 categories that make up the Quill and Scroll Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest. We at headquarters are double-checking all the entries, collecting the fees (you can’t win unless you pay, unfortunately), and starting the process of letting everybody know who won. Expect an announcement of all the winners and the Blue and Gold Awards in this space by March 23. In addition, we will have the slideshow available soon after that. Because the 2018 contest was Quill and Scroll’s first online contest, we are able to provide direct links to all the stories, photos, graphics and packages that won first, second and third place. If you want a 2018 slide show of the winners, we’ll make those available for $10 in early April. It makes for a great place to start discussions about what makes great high school journalism.

News Media Evaluation time is coming.

Quill and Scroll will make its News Media Evaluation service available April 1 on this website. Over the past two years, our Board of Directors and our executive director have been working closely with each other and with the Journalism Education Association to make all of our evaluation/critique services more useful to student-journalists and their advisers. We’re proud of the instrument we have created, and it will be available in just a few more weeks. Stay tuned.

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.

What’s Viral?:

Tweet, Text or Email? It’s a question of ethics.

The medium is the message. Alexis Elder, an ethicist specializing in social technologies, explores and explains how you choose to send a message affects audience interpretation. The right medium makes all the difference.

Net Neutrality from Obama’s FCC Chair

Tom Wheeler, previous FCC Chair, discussed hot topics including the FCC, net neutrality, and platform regulation with the Shorenstein Center. “It is not a one-month crusade, it is not a one-issue crusade, it is not something that will be resolved quickly, but it is the challenge of the 21st century,” said Wheeler.

Books are Viral, at least among suburban Kansas City teens:

Time spent on social media and using tech seems to be surpassing traditional forms of media. A school in Kansas City has found success combatting reading disinterest. Library staff at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School implemented a multifaceted new reading program that has reinvigorated the reading appetite of students. Read here how librarians boosted book checkouts over 200% in a single year.

Just a Thought:

Do Media Effectively Tell Minority Stories?

Fifty years after the publication of the Kerner Commission that revealed disparities in minority media coverage, Ford Foundation journalist Farai Chideya explores the progress made towards equality, or lack thereof, in an interview with Detroit Today. Accurate media representation of all populations is necessary to democracy. How can journalists of all backgrounds do better?

Covering Walkouts and Protests. A Guide:

In an age where students and youth are more empowered and active in politics than ever before, walkouts and protests have become common. The Student Press Law Center offers student journalists a guide to effectively covering these high caliber events. Read more here.

“Road Trip: Listen to America” Podcasts

The Huffington Post presents Road Trip: Listen To America, a revolutionary journalistic podcast series focusing on listening to citizens, rather than speaking for them. Follow along here.

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