The Weekly Scroll for October 19, 2018

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


The Lede

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered for his dissidence against Saudi Arabia

The Turkey government leaked an audio tape on Wednesday that documented the brutal torture of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents. Khashoggi arrived in the Saudi consulate Oct. 2 where he was killed in minutes from a beheading, dismembering of his body and severed fingers, according to the recording. The killers were gone within two hours, leaving Khashoggi dead with nobody to know until Wednesday. Khashoggi’s death has brought light to the brutal attacks on freedom of the press internationally and human rights violations of journalists. This is particularly emphasized in the release of Khashoggi’s last column by the Washington Post that speaks to the Arab world’s need for a free press. Read it here.


Has Georgia’s Secretary of State blocked 53,000 voters, most who are black?

Photo by Annie Bolin

Voter suppression rumors skyrocketed after the Associated Press released a report on Oct. 9 showing Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp put a hold on voter registration applications of 53,000 people. 70 percent of those people were African Americans. Historically, African Americans in Georgia vote democratic and rumors have spread that this was a deliberate attempt by Kemp, a Republican who is running for governor, against his Democratic opponent Stacy Abrams. The report is factual, but people on social media and the internet seem to have overlooked the fact that these voters can still vote on voting day despite their pending registration, according to Snopes. In the race to the midterm elections, this event of 53,000 pending registrations has shown “significant disagreement exists over the causes and motivations behind the hold which has been placed on those registrations,” according to Snopes. Despite all of that, it’s clear Kemp has not blocked these voters from voting.


Insect crisis as their population numbers plummet

Photo by David Clode

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences released a report Monday that indicated climate change was responsible for the dramatic decrease in insects across the world. The study found America now joined other regions such as Europe and the Caribbean. This comes as yet another tragic revelation from the scientific community about the detrimental direction climate change is taking the world in—the other one a huge report by the UN that stated Earth’s temperature would raise by 1.5 degrees, creating rising water levels worldwide. The decrease in arthropods (insects) has already affected the ecosystem as scientists have seen a decline in the organisms and animals that eat them, such as lizards, frogs and birds. To read a comprehensive analysis of this report by the Washington Post, click 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?
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  • 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?

Former USA Gymnastics president arrested in link to Larry Nassar case

The former head of U.S. gymnastics was arrested Wednesday for tampering with evidence connected to the Larry Nassar sexual abuse case. Steve Penny, the former president, was previously indicted on this charge by a grand jury but arrested upon accusations that he directly removed incriminating evidence from the Texas training facility, Karolyi Ranch gymnastics. As of now, the documents are currently missing but would have assisted the Nassar investigation, according to reports by CNN. This comes after the recent withdrawal of Interim USA Gymnastics President Mary Bono. Bono resigned after public scrutiny and backlash of her Twitter post filling in a Nike apparel symbol with a black marker. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was at the forefront of this backlash as she tweeted about the importance of sponsors and her disdain for Bono’s post.


Facebook’s faulty data could have led to editorial layoffs in publishing industry

Photo by Medium

Facebook executives publicly insisted that video consumption soared in ways never seen before. “We’re entering this new golden age of video,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News in April 2016. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.” Statements like that however, did not match the analytics of video consumption. Data from Facebook overestimated time spent watching videos between 60 and 80 percent. What worries advertisers and publishers is that this miscalculation wrongly led to editorial layoffs in the publishing industry. To discover more, read here.



Just a Thought

Journalism students helped to free man from unsound murder charge after 12 years

Photo by Carl Juste, Miami Herald

Journalism students at Northwestern University working from the Medill Justice Project helped to free Andre Gonzalez after 12 years behind bars, according to Miami Herald. The students interviewed a fellow inmate who uncovered Gonzalez was not the murderer, but rather the DJ of a nightclub outside North Miami-Dade was. The inmate later testified this in court and led to the case against Gonzalez being dropped and his well-deserved freedom regained. Stories like this are important to recognize as they show the true power journalism has to uncover truth and hold people accountable. What can students in school take from this and uncover truth? How can they hold be accountable through the power of journalism?


Magazine fact-checking on Broadway could lead to confusion about journalism

Photo by Broadway World

New Broadway play, “Lifespan of a Fact” that opened Oct. 18, featuring Daniel Radcliffe, brings attention to the world of fact-checking. The play, based off a creative nonfiction book of John D’Agata, studies the precarious relationship between editorial, magazine fact-checking and creative nonfiction writing. However, PolitiFact founder Bill Adair worries the play could blur the public’s understanding of the lines between editorial fact checking and fact-checking statements by politicians and others. It’s important for journalists in school to understand the importance of fact-checking as a verification process to ensure accuracy and fairness. To read more and understand the difference yourself, read here.

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