The Weekly Scroll for September 14, 2018

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

The Lede

Trump administration transfers $9.8 million in funds from FEMA to ICE

Hurricane Florence is the first of many anticipated natural disasters as hurricane season begins, and a nearly $10 million cut to the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds is a cause of concern for response teams. In June, the administration approved a motion to transfer the funds to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement needed to “detain and deport more migrants than the agency had expected,” as part of Trump’s immigration crackdown. In total, ICE needed an additional $200 million to cover expenses. The Department of Homeland Security reprogrammed budgets, pulling the funds from FEMA’s regional operations, response and recovery, mitigation, mission support and law enforcement training budgets. The US Coast Guard also lost $14 million needed for maintenance repairs: the Federal Air Marshals program budget is being decreased, and the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office will no longer receive funding for training and planning materials this year. Critics worry that this reallocation of funds proves a shift in priority’s for America that will ultimately be harmful.

Vermont New Voices Act faces first challenge

Burlington High School journalism staff may be the first to test the New Voices law protecting high school publications’ first amendment rights in Vermont. In 2017, BHS administration came under fire for censorship of the staff, often interfering with stories and requiring information that reflected poorly on the school to be omitted from publication. The New Voices law is intended to prevent this kind of censorship and encourage scholastic journalists to uphold the values of transparency, representation, and accountability in their coverage. When students posted public information regarding the findings of an investigation into high school Guidance Counselor Mario Macias, they were told to remove the story. Principal Noel Greene said the story was creating a hostile work environment for Mr. Macias and claims it is within the school’s rights to censor disruptive material. Journalism staff at Burlington High School have since reached out to the Student Press Law Center and believe they may have a case against administration for violating the protections of the New Voices Act.

Women’s colleges and their role in the battle for equality

Women’s colleges are stereotyped in popular media and stigmatized as outdated, but in reality produce some of the most successful women in the country. Why is that? Women’s colleges provide unique advantages to their students that public or private universities fail to offer. Graduates of women’s colleges earn advanced degrees at higher rates, are taught about gender and given an education that transcends it, and have greater economic stability. For STEM majors, the women are integrated in a network of female mentors in their field, which is a strong indicator of success. Join the conversation about the strengths of women’s colleges here.

It’s An Honor

News Media Evaluation Winners

Writing, Photo, and Multimedia Winning Entries Available

Quill & Scroll’s annual Writing, Photo, and Multimedia Contest for 2018 is complete and winners are now available for your perusal. A complete list of winners can be found here along with a brief showcase of and links to the award-winning work.

Enter the 2018 Yearbook Excellence Contest!

Proud of your yearbook work? Looking to showcase staff skill? Interested in gaining access to exclusive scholarships and awards of excellence? Enter the 2018 Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contest today!

High school students who are contributors to or staff members of a student yearbook at any public or private high school are invited to enter the competition. Awards will be made in each of the 18 categories. Categories include Theme Development, Student Life, Academics, Clubs or Organizations, Sports, People, Advertising, Sports Action Photo, Academic Photo, Student Life Photo, Clubs or Organizations Photo, Feature Photo, Graphic Design, Photo Illustration, Index, Headline Writing and Design, Caption Writing, and Personality Profiles.

There are two enrollment classes: Class A: more than 750 students; Class B: 749 or fewer.

Winners of the Quill and Scroll 2018 Yearbook Excellence Contest will receive a National Award Gold Key and are eligible, as seniors, to apply for one of the Edward J. Nell Memorial or George and Ophelia Gallup scholarships. The deadline to submit material is Oct. 10. More information about entry (and the form to apply) can be found here.

Does your school have a Q&S Charter?

If you’re unsure of your school’s charter status, check the Q&S charter page to search for your school! Have a charter? Simply re-activate your charter by emailing [email protected]. Not on the list? Click here to open your charter, get your official Q&S banner, and begin inducting students.

What’s Viral?

Users fear fake news on real feeds

Convenience, interaction with other users, timeliness, and speed are among the top reasons that nearly two-thirds of Americans now rely on social media to obtain their current events and news. However, a recent Pew Research Center report revealed that 57 percent of social media users consider news on their feeds to be inaccurate and unreliable sources. Despite steps Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, etc. have taken to reduce fake news in their feeds and promote user trust, a large percentage of people view news on their feeds as inaccurate. Nieman Lab breaks down the report by demographics, sites, and timelines here.

Anti-establishment political wins influenced by smart social media strategy

How could a political candidate spend 13 percent less on campaigning and achieve election by more than 53 percent of a four-way vote? Research from Mexico’s recent election and the U.S.’s 2016 election suggests that money may no longer be the deciding factor in running a successful campaign and securing election. Analysis of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s social media based campaign suggests three key strategies in turning votes on social media: using activist slang, going viral, and providing historical context. These same strategies were employed by Trump backers in 2016, and may be the key to influencing future elections. Read more about the tactics here.

 

Just A Thought

Read The Lead, weekly newsletter for high school journalists

Taylor Blatchford is launching The Lead, a weekly newsletter for student journalists, on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The newsletter will feature discussions on student journalism topics (such as administration investigations, how to cover activism, etc.), highlight innovative work from other student publications, and present lots of skill development resources (tools, internships, trainings, scholarships, and readings). Interested in another strong resource for your staff? Click here to subscribe.

FDA crackdown on e-cigarette sales to minors

In the “largest coordinated enforcement effort in the FDA’s history,” the FDA issued more than 1,300 warning letters and fines to retailers who illegally sold JUUL and other e-cigarette products to minors this summer. E-cigarette use among adolescents has hit epidemic proportions with over three million middle and high school students reported as current users of the product in 2017. In response to the growing concern of nicotine addiction in youth, the FDA said they’re taking aggressive steps to address the challenge, including re-examining their compliance policy regarding flavored e-cigarettes. The campaign is primarily focusing on Vuse, Blu, JUUL, MarkTen XL, and Logic, the five brands that currently comprise over 97 percent of the market for e-cigarettes in the US. How many students in your school vape? What are their perceptions of nicotine addiction?

 

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