The Weekly Scroll for December 7, 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

George H.W. Bush dies at 94

Kyle Carter, Richland HS (Missouri)

George Herbert Walker Bush died last Friday at the age of 94. He was the 41st president of the United States and father to the 43rd. His death marks the end of an era that seems centuries removed from our current social media blast-like political climate, according to The Washington Post. His legacy: the unflinching nature in international politics and relations he had. He was assigned as an envoy to Beijing, served as vice president and president of the United States, served in World War II and guided the nation out of a four-decade Cold War with imminent threat of nuclear annihilation. Before he died, Bush was read his own eulogy by his biographer Jon Meacham and reacted in a self-depreciating manner that was consistent with his nature when he said, “That’s a lot about me, Jon.”

At Bush’s funeral on Wednesday, three previous commander-in-chiefs and one present sat in the front pew at the Washington D.C. National Cathedral with their wives to honor George H.W. Bush’s life and profound impact on the American people: Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. George W. Bush later made an appearance and shook hands with all those in the front row. H.W. Bush’s lifetime achievements will never be forgotten, as he changed the nature of American international relations. At the top, he is pictured at the funeral for former Rep. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery in Meridian, Miss., Tuesday, May 16, 2006.

High school journalists take initiative in investigative story


A high school newspaper was temporarily suspended after publishing an investigative story about football players’ transfers. The adviser’s job was threatened. Arkansas Har-Ber High School was infringing on the journalistic rights of the high school newspaper staff protected by the First Amendment because they posted the culminated report of a monthslong investigation, criticizing the transfer of five football players to a rival high school. As journalists, the newspaper staff should’ve been protected by freedom of the press to report on news that allows them to be the watchdog of institutions and bark when those institutions are abusing their powers. Even more troubling about this infringement, was the fact that Arkansas is one of 14 states that protects student journalists’ press freedom.

Since then, the district has restored their right to publish stories, and the story can be found here, although edits were made after the paper met with administration, indicating prior review is occurring. Prior review limits the ability of the press to report news transparently and truthfully to the best degree they can. There is still more work to be done in Arkansas to ensure the rights of high school journalists are not being infringed upon and the public can get the real facts of the investigative story produced by high schoolers who took initiative.

How the killing of Jamal Khashoggi unfolded

15 Saudi officials waited for their target, Saudi critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, to arrive at the Istanbul consulate, where they snatched him and eventually killed him. Below, you can find a detailed, hour-by-hour reconstruction of how Khashoggi’s murder came to be.


It’s an Honor

HS WIRE: Quill and Scroll and JEA partners with professional media to publish high school journalism content

Quill and Scroll and the Journalism Education Association are excited to announce a partnership that will help amplify student voices by distributing student work through professional media. JEA’s “The Best of High School Journalism” magazine on will be changed to “HS WIRE” this December. Not only will HS WIRE showcase the “best stories” in highs school journalism, it will post even more timely news content on the site. Once it’s there, we’ll work with professional partners like The Associated Press, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Public News Service, and others to see if they’d like to re-publish the content, all the while giving credit to the students, the teacher, the high school and anyone else associated with the production.

Send your best timely work to [email protected] starting now! JEA Professional Outreach Committee Chair Jonathan Rogers and Quill and Scroll Executive Director Jeff Browne will review the submissions and post the best to HS WIRE Magazine on Flipboard. Then we will notify professional media that those stories are available provided our partners agree to our crediting parameters. Student journalists often fill in the blank where professional newsrooms can’t. This is your chance to have your voice amplified.

Yearbook Excellence Contest

The entries for the 2018 Yearbook Excellence Contest have been judged and Quill and Scroll is in the process of putting together the awards. We hope to announce all winners by early January.

2019 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest adds video and podcast

Quill and Scroll’s Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest is adding three video and two podcast categories in the multimedia section of the contest, bringing the total number of categories to 30, spread among writing, photo, design and digital media.

The contest is now open, and the final entry deadline is Feb. 6, 2019. Each entry costs $5, and winning students will be eligible for Quill and Scroll scholarships at the end of the school year. Please go to our WPM Contest page to learn more and to enter.

2018 WPM 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


What’s viral?

French students blockade schools in protest of changes to the university system

Damien Checoury, Unsplash

In an attempt to eliminate nationwide, intense and violent Yellow Vest protests, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met with opposition leaders Monday. The protests have sprung up in opposition to the tax system they feel favors the rich, created by centrist President Emmanuel Macron.  Among these nationwide protests are students who have seized upon the citizens’ protest movement, blockading 100 schools in protest of the changes to the college and university system. The changes they’re protesting: more selective entry requirements for universities. “Seven teenagers were arrested after riot police were called to the Jean-Pierre Timbaud high school in Aubervilliers in the northern Paris suburbs where a car was overturned and bins were set alight,” according to The Guardian. French authorities are typically wary of high schoolers joining the citizen movement, because their demonstrations spread quickly.

First account of a teen who went through conversion therapy in Utah

Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash

When Alex Cooper’s Mormon parents discovered their daughter was lesbian, they kicked out of her house. She was 15. For several weeks she stayed with friends, before her parents told her she was going to be living with her grandparents in Utah for a couple of weeks until they calmed down. Instead of being sent to live with her grandparents, she was dropped off at the house of a couple who practiced unlicensed conversion therapy in September 2010. Cooper was forced to wear a backpack with rocks in it, facing a wall for up to 18 hours at times, carrying the burden of being gay. She wasn’t allowed to attend school until May of 2011.

She tried to escape numerous times but was always caught and brought back to the house where she was punished because the community was so small. On her 16th birthday she tried to kill herself, but the attempt didn’t work. She told a boy she knew from school about her situation, and he happened to be the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance club and connected her with California lawyer Paul Burke. Finally, she escaped to a bus stop in the middle of the night and reported everything that had happened to officials and authorities. The couple lost their jobs and custody of their kids. Cooper’s parents finally realized that what they did sending her to conversion therapy wasn’t right and they fully support her now.

Cooper shared her story to prevent other parents from sending their kids to conversion therapy. She says the intentions of parents who do this aren’t malicious, just ignorant. Read the full story from Advocate here.


Just a Thought

An alternative to the journalism major in college

Andrew Neel, Unsplash

Bachelor degrees in journalism and mass communication have been steadily increasing since 2007 although employment opportunities have remained rather after a two-year decline that started in 2008. However, for some, j-school might not be the move. Although j-school is great for learning the trade of journalism and building networking connections, all hope is not lost if you don’t attend j-school. If you major in another area, be sure it’s something you’re passionate about, take writing classes and do internships on the side. Find leadership positions, join a publication, build a versatile skillset to set yourself apart from other journalists. Reach out to professionals or a career adviser to foster a community you can reach out to for internships and job placement. Being a journalist without a j-school degree isn’t impossible, just be sure to be as proactive as possible and build a community. Read this story that talks you through the alternate paths eight working journalists took.

Unite in the newsroom


Defending your ideas in the newsroom and against the dismissal of an editor or more experienced journalists can be an intimidating thing. However, it’s imperative that you advocate for yourself in a way to ensure different generations, races, classes and genders are represented in the newsroom and in the media that’s put out to readers. Hierarchy shouldn’t trump feedback. Silencing your voice limits the diversity of a publication and that is a disservice to readers. To understand how to advocate for yourself in a professional manner that ensures a fostering of diversity of different ideas in the newsroom, read this Q&A between GroundTruth and Martin Reynolds, co-executive director of the Robert C.Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.


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