The Weekly Scroll for November 8, 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

USA Gymnastics’ governing rights moved to be revoked by Olympic Committee

Brian Snyder/Reuters

The United States Olympic Committee announced on Monday that they were moving to strip USA Gymnastics’ right to govern themselves as a national body after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal that rocked the sport into uncertainty. “By decertifying U.S.A.G., the Olympic committee would be taking control of a national governing body on the grounds that the federation had proven incapable of running itself properly,” Sarah Hirschland, chief executive of the U.S.O.C., said. This comes after she told the gymnastics community that they deserve better from a governing body that has proved to fail them in handling the surmounting challenges that have been presented in the past two years. Read more here.

Aftermath of the U.S. 2018 midterm election

Elliot Stallion/Unsplash

The Unites States House of Representatives fell from Republicans and flipped into hands of Democrats, but the Senate remained Republican strong after gaining several Senate Democratic incumbents. “Yes, it was totally a blue wave,” according to The Washington Post. The blue wave gives thanks to the House changing parties by larger margins nationwide than seen in the past Republican “waves” in 1994 and 2014, according to The Washington Post. For an in-depth, easy to understand, interactive graphic on the 2018 midterm election, click here. For an explanation on why the blue wave wasn’t bigger, read Vox’s story.

Jeff Sessions resigned after push from Trump, replaced by loyalist Matthew Whitaker

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

After the intense 2018 midterm election, Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Trump. He was promptly replaced by Iowa Attorney Matthew G. Whitaker, a loyalist to Trump and his administration as he has previously criticized the Russia probe investigation, claiming in a column he wrote for CNN that it went too far into Trump’s finances.Fox News and various other sources claim that while Whitaker is professional qualified for the position, he is not legally qualified for the role, according to Judge Andrew Napolitano. To read more about this recent appointment and how it could affect the Russia inquiry, click here.


It’s an Honor

Why the Future is Ours to Mold

Emily Hood from Francis Howell North High School

High school students from Quill and Scroll’s Student Advisory Board speak out about the importance of scholastic high school journalism. Bronlyn Holland from Ola High School (Georgia) discusses why America needs journalists, especially high school journalists with their unique position between the community and the administration. Emily Hood from Francis Howell North High School (Missouri) focuses on the importance of freedom of the press and the detrimental impact that censoring student journalists can have not only for the newspaper, but for the audience as a whole. Jack Rintoul from Kirkwood High School (Missouri) showcases the danger that denying freedom to the press has for high school journalists when an administration takes away a student’s ability to carry out journalistic practices with prior restraint. To read their full stories, click here.

Saving Democracy


“Add “Saving Democracy” to your list of things to do this year,” Quill and Scroll Executive Director Jeff Browne said as he highlights the power scholastic high school journalists and their advisers have to save a democracy. This comes to be of paramount importance with the media coming under attack from Trump and his administration. Now, more than ever, journalists must engage in ethical practices and create stories that show their audience the important powers journalists have in being the watchdog of the government and aiming to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Quill and Scroll can help in this effort to save democracy by supporting high school students and their advisers, as well as providing them with resources. Read the full story here.

Listen up! THE SOURCE: Ep. 4 – Loyalty

Jack Kennedy

In the fourth installment of THE SOURCE, host Nichole Shaw interviews Colorado Student Media Association Executive Director Jack Kennedy on loyalty in the journalism industry. Take a listen to discover the importance of understanding loyalty and your responsibility as a journalist to stick to what you know is right, even though it may be difficult to face. Listen to the podcast here.

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].

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.

The 2019 Contest will be open for entries from December 2018 through Feb. 5, 2019. Work entered should have been published online or in a news publication between Feb. 1, 2018 and Feb. 1, 2019. As always, students who finish in the top 10 percent in any category are eligible for Quill and Scroll scholarships.

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.k

Yearbook Excellence Contest

The entries for the 2018 Yearbook Excellence Contest have been sent to judges, and they have a Nov. 30 deadline to complete their work. We hope to announce all winners before the holiday break begins in mid-December.

Quill and Scroll’s Fall 2018 Magazine

Quill and Scroll’s Fall 2018 Magazine came out yesterday. So, check your emails if you’re a subscriber. If not, you still have access to four of the stories that were featured in the fall issue! To start a subscription with us, call (319) 335-3457. Subscription rates are $17 per year and $30 for two years. Check out some of our past issues here. Below is a sneak peak of our fall issue.


What’s viral?

Mac Miller’s cause of death was an accidental overdose on cocaine and fentanyl

G L ASKEW/The Jude Group

Late Rapper Mac Miller’s cause of death was determined on Monday by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office as an accidental overdose. The overdose was caused by a mixture of cocaine, alcohol and fentanyl. Fentanyl has been a drug that has historically been involved in many overdose cases, including that of Prince and Tom Petty. Fentanyl is 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin, according to the CDC. Various columns have been written about the dangers and toxicity the drug poses to our society with business privatization of it despite the rising opioid crisis. To read those stories click here or here.

2018 Midterm election resulted in most women in Congress ever

A record number of women will serve in the U.S. Congress. As of Thursday morning, “121 women will serve in the 116th Congress, up from the current 107. It will bring the share of Congress members who are women up from the current 20 percent to nearly 23 percent — a new high, but far from parity,” according to NPR. This comes following the most number of women running for Congress and showcases the growing political interest women have in making their voices heard and represented in a country that has historically ignored them. Read more here.


Just a Thought

How to cover sensitive issues or events in the news

Mark J. Terrill/AP

13 people were killed in a mass shooting Wednesday night, including a sheriff’s deputy and the gunman himself. The shooter targeted a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, and created traumatic parallels to the Las Vegas mass shootings as some survivors were also present at the Las Vegas one last year where 58 people were killed. Mass shootings have plagued the United States, bringing about tense political divide on gun control policies and solutions to the gun violence epidemic that has swept through the nation. As mass shooting have become a reality, it’s important to cover these sensitive issues and events properly in the news. Always be aware of your audience and how the information posted my affect them. Be sure to ethically think about the pros and cons of posting triggering content and if it is imperative information your audience must know. If so, be sure to put down trigger warnings. Read about how you can talk to students about sensitive issues in the news here.

Journalists come under attack by Trump and fake news fuels misconceptions

In a recent White House news conference on Wednesday night, President Trump attacked CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, revoking his pass for his challenging questions to the president. Following this, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders posted the below content on Twitter, claiming Acosta acted inappropriately at the conference. However, the video was doctored, first being slowed down and then sped up to make it look as the the CNN correspondent is doing a karate chop, according to correspondent Dana Schwartz. Several other journalists have come forward, defending Acosta and saying the video was doctored. It’s important to recognize that when journalistic rights are infringed upon like this, democracy is being hurt. Ensure that when you see fake news, you identify it and correct it to your audience. Trust between a news organizations and its audience is imperative in order for the disseminated information to be taken seriously. Be sure to consistently fact-check, because as a journalist, your first priority is to the truth and the public.

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