The Weekly Scroll for October 12, 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

UN Commissioned report on global warming and Earth’s call to action

Commissioned at the 2015 summit that brokered the Paris climate agreement, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its report on why, what, and how we must succeed at the world’s bid to limit global temperature rise to 1.5℃. Declines in crop yields, biodiversity, coral reefs, and Arctic sea ice, as well as increases in heat waves, heavy rainfall, and sea levels, are indicators of global warming’s progression. We must act immediately, comprehensively, and carefully to protect the planet and ourselves. Is it plausible to hold global warming to 1.5℃? Yes and no. Read more here.

Pa. district battles opposition to controversial mascot

The hearing for Neshaminy School District in a lawsuit filed against the district in 2015 has been set for the second week of January. The Pennsylvania Human Relation Commission argues the district’s mascot and team names, the “Redskins,” discriminates against Native Americans, creating a hostile educational environment. A district spokesperson called the allegations “unfounded” though students are known to dress in feathers and face paint at sporting events. Neshaminy also made headlines in 2013 when student newspaper editors banned the term “redskins” from their publication, The Playwickian, due to its racial insensitivity. After adviser and editor suspensions and much debated controversy, the administration accepted the ban with the exception of allowing the term in editorials.

A more accountable NSA? New Inspector General Storch’s approach

Aside from NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks in 2013, the American public has had no real access to information regarding the activities of the National Security Agency. Classified budgets, classified operations, and even a classified staff list “preserve the safety of the agency and America.” However, appointed as Inspector General of the NSA in January, Rob Storch is taking a non-traditional approach to his position. “It’s a big federal government agency. It spends a lot of taxpayer dollars. And so as a general matter, I think the public has a right to know how its funds are being spent,” said independent watchdog Storch. Since his appointment, Storch has released an unclassified version of his semiannual report (a first for the agency), published a website detailing whistleblower rights and protections, and revamped the office logo. Read more here.

It’s An Honor

Listen up! THE SOURCE: Ep. 3 – Leadership

In the third installment of THE SOURCE, host Nichole Shaw interviews Daily Iowan Managing Editor Katelyn Weisbrod on leadership in the newsroom. Take a listen to discover the heartfelt anecdotes Weisbrod provided to speak to the difficult but necessary ethical practice of journalistic principles.

Quill and Scroll teams with


  • Need a meaningful Q&S chapter activity this semester?
  • Hope to solve a problem in your community or school?
  • Want to interact with policy-makers and journalists?

Quill and Scroll has partnered with to help you develop skills in reporting on, writing about, and devising solutions for issues in your school or hometown. You can read about the partnership on our webpage here, or you can download the pretty flier we created just for this partnership. If you have any questions, you may contact Q&S’s Jeff Browne at [email protected] or TheChisel’s Deborah Devedjian at [email protected].

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 winning entries 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.

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?

Does Twitter have too much influence on journalism?

Twitter has quickly become a popular and strong tool in journalism, both for information gathering and publishing. A new study explores the negative effects and benefits of journalists’ relationship with Twitter. Findings about newsworthiness perception, gatekeeping, bots, and more are discussed here.

Learning from the success of The New Yorker

The immediacy, costs, space, and convenience of digital journalism are among the driving factors pushing print publications to convert to websites. The New Yorker is a prime example of successfully converting to and catering digital audiences while preserving quality journalism and print subscribers. A hard paywall, content exclusivity, and encouraging creativity are among the strategies used by The New Yorker. How can you grow your site? Read more here.

Just A Thought

Art empowering migrants to write their own narratives

The popular imagery of refugees, migrants, and immigrants portray them as burdens on society or victims of oppression. The Open Society Foundations is sponsoring a photo show that allows a different narrative to be communicated. Another Way Home opened September 26th and runs until July 2019 at OSF’s office in New York City. Thirteen photographers, storytellers, and artists’ work was selected for display from over 400 submissions. Several of the winners are migrants or refugees themselves, and in addition to the platform to display their work, the opportunity to change the narrative, and to influence their representation, they will receive $60,000 each to continue creating. NPR offers a glance into the photo show here. How do students at your school perceive their identities? How would they tell their narrative in contrast to how it’s told for them?

Your voting rights and responsibilities, by state

Trump. Kavanaugh. Climate change. Racism. Data protections. Censorship. Health care. Diplomatic relations. Poverty. Planned Parenthood. Education. Police brutality. Veterans affairs. Feminism. Social justice. Vote. Midterm elections take place November 6th, and if there’s anything the political climate, policy changes, and polls have told us, it’s that: every vote matters. The Washington Post breaks down how, why, and what each vote means across each state. How can you encourage your community to vote? Think about stories of students and community members that you can share to convince them to register, fill out the ballot, and become an active part of our democracy.

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