December 19, 2019

News, tips and advice from Quill and Scroll

The Lede

Trump impeached

You may now say you were around on the day that the U.S. House of Representatives impeached the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump.

That was this Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2020. By an almost completely party-line vote, Trump was impeached on two articles: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

As of Wednesday night House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) would not say when or even if the articles would be passed along to the Senate, which is given the power to hold a trial of the president by the Constitution.

If the trial is held, a tw0-thirds majority of the Senate would have to vote to remove the president from office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) has already said there is no chance the president will be removed from office.

Who is getting more media coverage and why?

As the 2020 primary election is rapidly approaching, media coverage is increasingly important to the candidates’ campaigns.

A poll from Fivethirtyeight shows democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden receiving the most media coverage than all of the other candidates combined. This can be attributed to the Biden family’s involvement in the scandal of President Trump’s impeachment charges.

CANDIDATE 9/22/19 9/29/19 DIFF 9/22/19 9/29/19 DIFF
Joe Biden 74.3% 69.3% -5.0 84.7% 77.2% -7.5
Elizabeth Warren 16.3 12.8 -3.5 18.2 22.8 +4.6
Bernie Sanders 5.0 13.9 +8.9 13.4 21.0 +7.6
Kamala Harris 2.7 4.0 +1.3 7.0 11.2 +4.2
Pete Buttigieg 2.3 2.1 -0.2 5.9 8.6 +2.7
Cory Booker 3.0 2.0 -1.0 4.7 6.2 +1.5
Andrew Yang 0.7 0.9 +0.3 2.8 4.9 +2.1
Amy Klobuchar 0.5 1.1 +0.6 3.0 2.8 -0.1
Julián Castro 0.5 0.3 -0.2 3.0 2.6 -0.5
Tom Steyer 0.4 0.5 +0.1 2.2 2.1 -0.1
Tulsi Gabbard 0.8 0.3 -0.5 3.4 2.0 -1.5
Steve Bullock 0.1 0.3 +0.2 0.8 1.6 +0.8
Beto O’Rourke 2.3 1.7 -0.6 2.1 1.5 -0.5
Marianne Williamson 0.0 0.1 +0.1 0.6 1.3 +0.7
Michael Bennet 0.2 0.1 +0.0 1.0 1.1 +0.1
Tim Ryan 0.1 0.2 +0.1 0.8 0.5 -0.3
John Delaney 0.5 0.0 -0.5 0.6 0.4 -0.2
Joe Sestak 0.0 0.0 +0.0 0.3 0.2 -0.1


The media is a for-profit industry and we can’t really blame them for reporting on whatever will capture the most readers’ attention. I mean, scandalous news sells. However, an opinion piece from The Hill discusses how influential media coverage is to public opinion. The author even argues that the constant free media coverage of Trump and unending critical coverage of Hillary Clinton and the alleged email scandal actually cost Hillary the election.

As journalists, how do we respond to claims like this?

It is important to recognize the effect that our coverage has on our readers and how that can shape public opinion. This is why unbiased reporting is so important for political journalists, we need to allow for the public to form their own opinions before we prime the issues to reflect our own political preferences. In times like these we need to incorporate Quill and Scroll’s first guiding principle­­­­: truth.

It’s An Honor

Not too early to apply for Q&S scholarships

The scholarship forms for both students and advisers are open now.

For students, scholarships can be used for tuition, room and board at any college or university. Recipients must major in journalism or a related area of communications.

For advisers, Q&S identifies and rewards experienced journalism teachers and publication advisers who seek the opportunity to upgrade their journalism skills, teaching methodologies and advising techniques.

The scholarship forms for application are open until April 15 (advisers) and May 10 (students).

2020 Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest is open for entry

Our Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest is now open for entry until Feb. 5, 2020. This year, we’ve updated the contest so that it rewards students with the work they regularly produce in their newsrooms.

Enter now to reward students with the work they regularly produce in their newsrooms at A form of payment must be completed at the time of entry. Online credit card payments must be completed by Feb. 5; purchase orders must be emailed to Quill and Scroll at the time of entry; and checks must be in our office by Feb. 14, 2020!

Student journalist focuses on life after prison

Emily Hood is a member of the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board, and she’s also an award-winning journalist for FHNToday at Francis Howell North High School in suburban St. Louis. Hood and videographer Francisco Jimenez teamed to publish a four-part series on the troubles faced by individuals coming out of incarceration and back into everyday life as free people.

You can read it here on the FHNToday sitebut this is the sort of story that Quill and Scroll would like to see in as part of its new vertical digital magazine, the Digital Quill. If you have a story that you’d like to share on the Digital Quill, please send it to [email protected], and we’ll review it and possibly publish on our site.

What’s Viral?

Texting while driving law

Texting while driving is banned in most states, but only classified as a misdemeanor punishable by fine. Some states are pushing for this offense to be treated more seriously, perhaps even as serious as driving while under the influence. The possible new consequences to include: suspending the offenders license and possible jail time.

Those in favor of passing a law that treats driving while texting the same as drinking and driving argue that the law isn’t doing enough to keep offenders from repeating the offense or law-abiding drivers and pedestrians safe. As of currently, insurance rates don’t even rise after a texting while driving conviction.

According to the most recent U.S. Department of Transportation statistics, texting while driving was the cause of about 3,500 fatalities and 400,000 injuries in 2015. Texting can make accidents 23 times more likely to happen and teens are four times more likely to engage in dangerous distracted driving behavior.

The “It Can Wait” campaign produced by AT&T focuses on the dangerous effects of texting while driving.

Harry Styles releases Fine Line album

Amid much expectancy, Harry Styles second album, “Fine Line,” released last Friday, December 13. According to Headline Planet, the album is on track to close out as the third most-selling album in one week with an expected 450-475 thousand first-week consumption (including streams and downloads). This puts “Fine Line” behind Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” and Taylor Swift’s “Lover.”

News media movies making headlines on December 13 release date

Along with Harry Styles release, “Bombshell” and “Richard Jewell” were released last Friday. Both movies were hit with a level of scrutiny for different reasons. Audiences were posed with a few questions: Why should we feel sorry for Fox media giants making six+ figures a year in a #MeToo world, while regular people are also faced with workplace sexual discrimination and harassment resulting in no reward and loss of job? Why did Clint Eastwood give credit to defense attorneys in finding Richard Jewell impossible of guilt, when it was journalists who uncovered that? Why were female journalists painted as in doing anything for a story?

See these movies in theaters now to draw your own conclusions.

(WARNING: both films are rated R).

Just a Thought

Check out the newest episode of Quill and Scroll’s podcast: The Source. In this episode, host Sylvia Clubb talks with political science major Jamie Wilhelmi and Q&S Executive Director Jeff Browne about the historic impeachment of President Trump and how high school journalists can provide truthful coverage to their audiences. Enjoy.