Weekly Scroll for January 25, 2019

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


The Lede

Supreme Court brings transgender military service ban back


The Supreme Court 5-4 to support the Trump administration’s wish to ban most transgender people from serving in the military, the five in favor being conservative members of the court. The New York Times reports, the ban will temporarily be in effect until other cases regarding opposition to the policy make their way to court.

The policy was perhaps an effort of conservative members to placate the administration’s frustration in lower court injunctions on their policies. “Unfortunately, this case is part of a growing trend in which federal district courts, at the behest of particular plaintiffs, have issued nationwide injunctions, typically on a preliminary basis, against major policy initiatives,” Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco wrote in his brief.

Advocates for gender rights are fighting the policy in lower courts. The decision has gained considerable uproar from the public on social media. One transgender Navy veteran, Danielle Lynch, reacted to the Supreme Court’s decision, and told a Scottsdale news organization that SCOTUS is sending the wrong message. “It feels not only that we’re less valued as a military servicemember but less valued as a human being,” said Lynch.

Google threatens elimination of Google News in Europe

Charles Deluvio, Unsplash

Changes to digital copyright policies are being considered by the European Union. The most controversial change would be the EU’s requirement of “Google and other platforms to pay publishers for the right to display anything more than the tiniest snippet of a story in its search results or elsewhere,” according to Nieman Lab.

Google responded to EU’s suggested change in digital copyright policies by threatening to pull its Google News service from Europe, according to a Bloomberg report.

Read Nieman’s Lab take on the copyright threat, and how it displays a shift in power dynamics in digital publishing and copyright powers.


It’s an Honor

2019 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest deadline approaching

Quill and Scroll’s Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest is now open, and that means it’s time to send in your entries before our final deadline of Feb. 6, 2019. This year, Quill and Scroll added 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.

Each entry costs $5, and winning students will be eligible for Quill and Scroll scholarships at the end of the school year. Click here to visit our WPM Contest page for more information on how to enter and the contest itself. A complete list of winners can be found here along with a brief showcase of and links to the award-winning work.

Yearbook Excellence Contest winners announced

The entries for the 2018 Yearbook Excellence Contest have been judged and Quill and Scroll congratulates McKinney High School (Texas) and Calvary Day School (Georgia) for earning Staff Excellence Blue and Gold Awards for their overall performance. The Blue and Gold Awards note the best high school journalism offers. Winners of this prestigious award have distinguished themselves in visuals and/or writing categories in the regular Yearbook Excellence Contest.
A full list of the 179 national winners of the 2018 Yearbook Excellence Contest can be found here. The professionals serving as judges commended the winners on their heightened creativity, fine reporting, in-depth captions and strong visual packages. In addition, the theme development winners were commended for their unique designs and diligent work in producing creative yearbooks.
Keep an eye out for our May announcement on how to enter into the 2019 Yearbook Excellence Contest.

Q&S THE SOURCE podcasts

Quill and Scroll journalist Nichole Shaw interviewed famed retired police officer Ron Stallworth, along with several other journalists. One of those journalists happened to be Harry Westergaard, a member of Quill and Scroll from Iowa City West High School. The interview will be our Fifth Light of the THE SOURCE podcast on Wednesday, focusing on INITIATIVE.

Stallworth infiltrated the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs and was the subject of the movie success BlacKkKlansman. The podcast and news story will be released next week. So, keep an eye out on our website and social media to listen to Ron speak about the realities of going undercover to attain information.

Charlie Peckman, The Daily Iowan


Tell us what you’re doing for Scholastic Journalism Week

Quill and Scroll encourages you to send in shorts about what activities your chapter will be engaging in during Scholastic Journalism Week before Feb. 18. Send all information to [email protected]. 

2019 Spring Q&S Magazine to be released in March

Quill and Scroll’s 2019 Magazine is set to be released March 15. The theme of this spring’s edition will be “50 Years of Tinker” in recognition of a remembrance of the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District that opened the door to a new era of student free expression in public high schools, and that included free expression in student newspapers and yearbooks. The magazine will feature stories from news media professionals and scholastic journalists alike.

To receive the 2019 Magazine when it’s released, sign up for a Quill and Scroll membership or magazine subscription by either going online here or calling us at 319-335-33457. Below you can find a sneak peak of our Fall 2018 Magazine.


News Media Evaluation Gallup Award winners showcased

The 2018 News Media Evaluation Gallup Award winners have been put together in a slideshow to showcase the exceptional excellence of their publications along with judge commentary. The list of winners can be found here. Access to the slideshow will be granted through purchase. Information on how to do so is coming soon.

13 school publications from ten states and British Columbia were recognized as George H. Gallup Award recipients for their extraordinary improvement, exceptional service to the school and community, editorial campaigns, and in-depth reporting on special issues.

The News Media Evaluation Contest will open up for entry submission between April 1 through June 15, 2019, so keep an eye out for that.

Establish a Q&S charter and membership

Q&S charters are granted for the lifetime of the school, and there are no annual dues. School membership automatically grants student membership for one student journalist for free. A charter also allows all of the school’s media advisers to automatically become members of Quill and Scroll and recommend students for induction into the honor society. Forming a charter at your school will allow students and advisers alike to conduct service activities and engage in scholastic journalism development programming. 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.
Individual student membership is also granted for a lifetime after a one-time initiation fee. The Society then provides the initiate with an official membership pin, membership certificate, and a one-year subscription to Quill & Scroll magazine. Membership is a great way for students to be provided with resources and support that allows their work as journalists to flourish. Click here to learn more about establishing a membership with Q&S.

Q&S Scholarships

Q&S encourages students and advisers alike to apply for our scholarships.

For students, that means filling out this application if you are an eligible senior who was a national winner in the International Writing, Photography and Multimedia Contest, Blogging Competition or the Yearbook Excellence Contest. Scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university that offers a major in journalism or related areas of communications such as multimedia, broadcast, graphic design, strategic communications, and photography.

For advisers, that means applying for the Lester G. Benz Memorial Scholarship for College Journalism Study if you have had at least six semester hours of journalism courses and a minimum of four years of teaching experience and advising school publications, are currently teaching a journalistic writing class, and plan to return to the high school classroom and media advising next year to apply the information gained in the course work taken as a result of this scholarship. Download that application here.

Quill and Scroll is asking for donations to the Scholarship Fund. We award up to five scholarships every year to Quill and Scroll members who have distinguished themselves as high school journalists and plan to study journalism in college. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500. Every little bit helps. To donate click the button below. Thank you for your support.


What’s viral?

iOS users allowed to share Netflix content in Instagram stories

Thibault Penin, Unsplash

Marketing for Netflix is set to explode with the Instagram users ability to share original content from the video streaming service on their Instagram stories. This new partnership gives users the opportunity to engage with Netflix in a way never seen before and connect even more with their “friends” on social media, while also giving Netflix the added bonus of exposure and advertising of their videos. Read the full story on the new partnership here.

Social media is the place where people are increasingly getting their news and forming opinions on topics, including pop culture with Netflix’s television shows and movies. Be sure to keep that in mind when trying to reach your own audiences and make one of your stories go viral.


Guardian documentary nominated for Oscar


In a first for the news brand, Guardian has been nominated for an Oscar on their documentary Black Sheep. Black Sheep tells the true story of black boy Cornelius Walker. Walker moves into a white estate run by racists after the death of Damilola Taylor, another black boy. The film is based in England and shares the harrowing struggle that a Walker experiences in an internal and external fight with the violence and hatred of racial difference and juxtaposed identities.

Questions of race and family identity come to the forefront of the film with a culture war informed by racial divide. Read the full summary by the Guardian here, where you can also watch the documentary for free.


Just a Thought

What student journalists can learn from the Lincoln Memorial incident

Three things:

  1. Fast is good, accurate is better.
  2. The duty to report is not the same as the duty to publish.
  3. Objectivity is still an admirable goal.

T. Chick McClure, Unsplash

With the release of a video depicting a standoff between Native American veteran Nathan Phillips and all-boys private high schooler Nick Sandmann, the focus on cultural differences and people’s reactions to them in the United States exploded in the news, again. The initial video showcased Sandmann in what appeared to be a display of white supremacy, refusing to move and smirking in the face of Phillips, who was playing a traditional Native song on his drum. A longer video was later released showing Phillips and his fellow peers appearing to mock traditional dances of Native Americans, spurring Phillips to walk over to Sandmann.

A day later, the last, longest video was published with a length of 2 hours. This video shows the true story as it unfolded, showcasing another group at the center of the debacle, antagonizing and explicitly harassing both the students and the Native Americans who were at the park. To catch up on the developing story of the controversy surrounding this incident, read this Washington Post article or this Slate politics column.

To read more about the three things student journalists should take away from the Lincoln Memorial Park incident and learn how to follow through with those goals, click here.

Republicans says media misunderstands them


Pew Research Center released new survey results, showing 73 percent of Republicans felt as though news organizations don’t understand them. This comes with a party under the leadership of President Trump, who has previously attempted to polarize U.S. citizens from the media, labeling most as “fake news” when they don’t agree with his politics. Regardless of your political standing, it’s important for news organizations to connect with their audience and encourage their engagement with their stories.

The mission of journalism is to tell important and valuable news stories that allow the public to understand social, political, economic and cultural issues as they happen. Journalists also have the responsibility to be the watchdog of those in power and bark when those leaders engage in corruption or other acts and behaviors that the public should be made aware of. Our first priority is to the public and conveying information to our audiences in the best way we know how, with a loyalty to accuracy and fairness.

Consider writing a story about the political divide at your school and how each group feels about the media. It’s important to engage with your audience and make it clear that your loyalty lies with them in assuring they receive fair and accurate news.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *