The Weekly Scroll for May 4, 2018

News, tips and advice from the Quill and Scroll International Honor Society
Compiled and written by Quill and Scroll journalists

The Lede

World Press Freedom Day

Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations’ World Press Freedom Day. In an editorial, The Los Angeles Times has a pretty strong take on the state of press freedom: “Yet now, on World Press Freedom Day 2018, the world press is not only less free but even more endangered. And that extends into the United States, whose free press protections and practices have been an international model.” Read the whole editorial.

Afghan tragedy

Of course, the L.A. Times opined just days after a terrorist — pretending to be a journalist — ignited a suicide bomb that killed 25 people in Kabul, Afghanistan. Included in the dead were 10 real journalists. Read about the tragedy from Business Insider.

Mexican journalist faces deportation

The New Yorker tells the story of Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, a Mexican journalist who fled his native country 10 years ago because his life had been threatened by members of the military about whom Soto wrote as a crime reporter in Ascensión, Chihuahua. After living most of the past 10 years in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Soto and his son have been arrested and are awaiting a deportation hearing.

It’s An Honor

Yearbook contest is open

Quill and Scroll’s Yearbook Excellence Contest is online and open for business, about five months earlier than normal. Quill and Scroll successfully migrated its 2018 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest online, and now the yearbook contest is following suit. We have the same 18 categories, the same two class divisions and the same rules and pricing as last year. But now you enter online. Go to our Yearbook Excellence Contest webpage to check out the new format so you can begin preparing entries before the school year is done. Fall-delivery book? No worries. You still have until Oct. 10 to get your entries in.

Scholarship application deadline — May 10

Thursday, May 10. That’s it. If you are a senior and you won a Gold Key in either the 2017 Yearbook Excellence Contest or in the 2018 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest, you are eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll scholarships. In addition, the Richard P. Johns Award is available to all Quill and Scroll seniors, including those who did not enter contests. Scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university in the United States that offers a major in journalism or related areas of communications such as multimedia, broadcast, graphic design, strategic communications, and photography. Get thee to this webpage and start your application. NOW! (Or before May 10. You pick.)

Need some constructive feedback?

The News Media Evaluation provides media staffs a one-of-a-kind self-assessment, thorough analysis and rating of your publication(s), with constructive comments and suggestions for improvement from qualified evaluators. The evaluation exercise and feedback are instructive and developmental. The ratings are motivational. High schools and junior high schools may enter their newspapers or news magazines during the submission period — April 1 through June 15, 2018. Entries and ratings are returned in September 2018. This service is open to non-member schools as well as member schools. Here’s the link to get started!

What’s Viral?

The problem with Apu

Hank Azaria, the actor who voices Apu for “The Simpsons,” has expressed regret that his character has brought “pain and suffering” and has been “used to marginalize people.” He spoke last week with Stephen Colbert about what should happen with the character now that Azaria’s “eyes have been opened.”

Starbucks pays penalty for racist incident

The two men arrested at Starbucks a couple of weeks settled with the coffee giant this week and were rewarded with $1 each. While that’s not enough for even a short Pike for the men to split, they also secured a $200,000 payment to a Philadelphia program that helps high school students who want to become entrepreneurs in the city. Thanks, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson!

This stuff keeps happening

This time it’s at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The Rocky Mountain Collegian reports that police responded to a call from a woman who was part of a campus tour by pulling aside two young Native American men and questioning them about why they joined the tour. Apparently, they were also thinking of attending CSU and had driven up from New Mexico the night before in order to go on the tour. Police separated the boys from the tour but did not arrest them.

Just A Thought


The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel has issued an apology because it placed an ad for a South Florida gun show on the same front page that included a story and a stand-alone photo about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, which also is in Broward County. The page also included a story about the Fort Lauderdale airport mass murderer. The ad placement happened even though the paper has a policy against placing gun ads on the front page. Sun-Sentinel Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson said: “It’s a mess. It’s horrible.” Moral of the story: Don’t promise ad placement until you fully understand the stories that are going to be run on the same page as the ad.

College education vs. not

It’s demonstrably true that college graduates, taken as a whole, make more money than those Americans who completed only high school or community college. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some high-paying jobs out there that don’t require a college degree. NPR’s “All Things Considered” tells the story of those jobs not being filled.

Arizona teachers get pay raises

Schools in Arizona will re-open as early as Friday after state legislators granted Arizona teachers — some of the lowest-paid educators in the U.S. — salary increases that will be phased in over the next three years. Now they’re going to fight for increased funding overall, including a lower student-teacher ratio. ABC has this report.

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