The Weekly Scroll for May 11, 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

DFM profit-oriented attitude slices up Colorado paper

The Denver Post, the largest daily newspaper in Colorado, is suffering from censorship, harsh staffing cuts, and the potential removal of an editorial section. Larry Ryckman and Dana Coffield, two senior news editors at the Post, quit the Digital First Media-owned paper earlier this week. Will the parent company profit demand drive newspapers out of business? Read more here.

NRA quietly elects new organization president

In the wake of the most recent school shooting, cries to end gun violence haven’t spooked the National Rifle Association. Monday, retired USMC Lt. Col. Oliver North was announced as the new NRA president. Read here why spokesman Dana Loesch described North as “the last person that anti-gun advocates would want as the new President of the NRA board.” North was a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s, in which staffers working for President Ronald Reagan illegally sold military arms to Iran and used the proceeds to secretly fund anti-communist forces in Nicaragua. North was convicted of crimes for his role, but the convictions were later overturned.


Parents upset at yearbook inclusion of vaping trend

The administration of Lake Brantley High School in Florida is scrambling to put a review process in place after controversy sprung up about two pages in the most recent yearbook, depicting students vaping and dismissing misconduct reports. Parents and administration deemed the topical content inappropriate and are calling for stricter pre-publication review moving forward. Of course, New Voices USA would love to get a student freedom of expression law passed in Florida, but there is no pending legislation there.

It’s An Honor

It’s never too late to induct

The offices here at Quill and Scroll are super busy this month as most of our charter schools choose to induct their members at or shortly before their graduation ceremonies. Sure, we’re busy, but we’re never too busy to receive nominations for students who have met our membership requirements and who have earned the right to be honored by their school and by Q&S. Here’s the page to get started if you haven’t already done so.

How do you Scroll?

Some schools choose to do their induction ceremonies in the fall or early in the spring so they don’t compete with all-school graduation ceremonies. Some schools choose to have only private ceremonies for Quill and Scroll induction because schools don’t allow cords at graduation. If there are 5,000 schools, there are 5,000 ways of inducting members. If you have any questions, please contact Executive Director Jeff Browne. Also, if you have any video of your induction ceremonies, please send an email to the same guy.

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.

Quill and Scroll serv it up!

The Journalism Education Association has hosted an email listserv that for decades now has provided journalism teachers and adviser a chance to seek each other’s advice and to share curricula, stories and successes. Quill and Scroll is following suit with an email listserv for its members, who are overwhelmingly high school journalists and recent high school graduates. If you’re a member or about to become a Q&S member, click on this email link ([email protected]).

You’ll become part of the conversation among high school journalists about how to cover stories better, how to deal with ethical issues, how to manage your staff … well, just as a place to talk with others around the world who are in same place you might be in. Serv it up!

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!

Summer Scroll?

The Scroll will take a break after June 8, but we’ll be back on Aug. 24 to start the new school year. Until then, we have four more Scrolls for this year.

What’s Viral?

How To: verifying viral videos

The Poynter Institute, the profession’s most influential “think tank,” offers ten tips for verifying social media videos, ranging from searching keywords to installing browser extensions and running reverse image searches. Viral videos run rampant on social media and can be tempting discussion pieces; however, a growing percentage of these videos have been misleadingly edited. Read here how to verify content for yourself.


The (anti)Gullibility Game

BBC iReporter is tackling the misinformation epidemic by teaching youth to understand the “disinformation ecosystem” and how to navigate it. While 73 percent of students reported an awareness of fake news, the majority of individuals studied interacting with the game were shocked at the blatant inaccuracies so easily and often spread.

V2 needs 2 hurry up

Lovers of the lost video-sharing app Vine will have to be patient for the sequel app. Vine’s co-founder Dom Hoffman recently announced the indefinite postponement of V2’s release. Logistical issues have delayed the project that was originally expected to be released this summer and generated lots of excited buzz. Will Vine’s faithful fans hold out for the sequel, or will interest fade with time?

Just A Thought

Phone walking… mindless habit or meaningful expression?

A University of Chicago study recently pondered the implications and reasoning behind an everyday phenomenon they called “phone walking,” where pedestrians carry their mobile phone in their hand without using it while they walk. Observations of phone walking varied across demographics and seemed to imply that phone walking conveys readability to engage in communication. Thinking about your own habits and those of your friends, do you phone walk? What does it mean to you?

App usage is up, cyber security is down

Education networks are increasingly reliant on applications and bandwidth. Educational campuses account for the highest average data usage per day of all institutions, and teachers introduce new applications and sites daily in an effort to make the best usage of resources in the classroom. Cyber-security threats are also at an all-time high, and CSO offers some best practices for teachers and students surfing the web.

The Truth is …

As you probably know, Quill and Scroll’s first of eight guiding lights is “truth.” It drives this organization, and it should drive journalism. For the past several months, The New York Times has been publishing a section for kids as part of a new marketing campaign. The cornerstone of the campaign is a series of statements about children and the truth. We reprint those statements here:

The New York Times.


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