Quill & Scroll Fall 2011 Magazine

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Quill and Scroll Society celebrates 85 years

Quill & Scroll

Fall 2011

BREATHING LIFE INTO WRITING A guide to narrative storytelling P L U S ! Writing tips from Pulitzer Prize winner


UPGRADE New online programs allow advisers to earn degrees from home


In honor of Quill and Scroll’s 85th anniversary, club members reflect on the past Fall 2011


Quill and Scroll

Quill and Scroll


Fall 2011

In This Issue

Quill & Scroll Volume 86 • Issue 1

Magazine of Quill and Scroll International Honor Society for High School Journalists

fall 2011 features 11

Editor and Business Manager VANESSA SHELTON

Executive Director, Quill and Scroll Society

Assistant Editor JESSICA JENKINS

Senior, University of Iowa

Contributing Editors JULIE E. DODD


Professor, College of Journalism and Mass Communication The University of Florida, Gainesville


Professor, College of Journalism University of South Carolina, Columbia


A guide to narrative storytelling

The journey to online publishing

Tara Bender

Erica Newton



Professor, Mass Communication and Media Studies, Howard University, Washington,D.C.

On the Cover:



Photos and display illustrate the longevity of Quill and , Scroll. Students, in the 1940 s , and 50 s, are shown at work and Quill and Scroll induction ceremonies. This year marks the 85th anniversary of Quill and Scroll International Honor Society.

A PRESTIGIOUS PAST Former Big Inch Club members reflect Sarah Larson

SURVIVAL ISLAND A new reality series for sports writers. Bob Denney




10 columns 13 14 17 18

Update journalism skills from home

The College Journalism Experience Ray Westbrook, CSPAA

Check This Out! On page 16, the 2011 Quill and Scroll scholarship winners provide insight about how high school journalism helped them prepare for journalism in college and beyond. Check out the Quill and Scroll website for 2012 scholarships - deadline May 10 and contests!


Fall 2011

A New Cornerstone of Education Mark Newton, JEA

Photojournalists v. Authority Frank D. LoMonte, SPLC

Useful Websites to Help Improve Web Design and Content Judy L. Robinson and Julie E. Dodd, Florida Journalism and Tech Notes


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Now What?

Breathing New Life into Writing with Narrative Storytelling By Tara Bender Indiana University

A note to Advisers: By the time they are accepted as staff members, your publication staff should already possess the skills necessary to produce a quality piece of journalism. They’ve passed the introductory journalism classes and are expected to understand how to conduct an interview and then construct a story, integrating quotes and relevant information. Now what? For those students who are familiar with journalistic principles and consistently contribute quality pieces to the newspaper, it’s time to kick the writing up a notch! Moving away from traditional storytelling techniques and diving deep into a narrative approach will breathe new life into your paper that your readers won’t be able to help but notice. What follows are tips, tools, and techniques for both interviewing and writing

from professionals who know their stuff. They never once praise the inverted pyramid. They scoff at lazy leads. They urge writers to go beyond the ordinary. Implementing some of their best practices will undoubtedly take a so-so feature and turn it into the lunchroom topic of conversation.

First things First:

When you introduce this new idea of narrative storytelling to your staff, they’ll probably look at you funny and ask you what you’re talking about. Simply put, “narrative” means “telling a story.” Though it’s most closely associated with fiction writing, it’s more than appropriate — and encouraged — for nonfiction writing, especially feature styles suited for most high school newspapers or newsmagazines that are published once or twice a month. In Telling True Stories, editor Mark Kramer writes, “In narrative work, characters move through an experience or set of experienc-

es…characters take action over time, and events unfold.” The goal, then, of narrative reporting is to tell readers the story by letting them into an experience. Let them feel like they’re eavesdropping on a top-secret conversation. Make them feel like they’re sitting in the subject’s bedroom. Give them a chance to live the story as you tell it — as you narrate it. So “narrative” is a new way to tell a story.

And it all starts with ...

The Interview

Have three weeks to write a story?

Arrange multiple face-to-face interviews or “observation sessions” with your subject. It will add depth and personality to your story. In Telling True Stories, David Halberstam writes about the obvious lack of quality in “phonecall stories.” Gathering sound bites is important, but the sights, sounds, smells, and feeling of a place are equally so. “I can always tell when a journalist is cheating,” he writes.

Narrative on location →

“Talia Halliday’s table rests under stacks of books instead of place settings. The hutch in the corner is a home for art supplies — not fine china. Shelves burst with vintage books, photo albums, and small plastic shelves full of art supplies. Two sewing machines rest on a desk among a clutter of boxes on the floor and paper lanterns hung from the ceiling. Her dining room has become her studio.”

Look! Don’t Just Listen!

Reporters can get in the habit of gluing their eyes to their notebooks, scribbling away furiously, trying to get every single word on paper. That’s great — but be sure to keep your eyes as open as your ears. From the moment you walk in the door, use your notebook to record the things you see.

Take Notes on your subject’s mannerisms, physical characteristics, surroundings, and interactions with others.

Does she twirl her hair when she talks? Does he have four Lennon posters in his room? What kind of clothes is she wearing for her Habitat for Humanity workday?

Spend time

observing your subject as a “fly on the wall.” In Tim Harrower’s book Inside Reporting, he writes that observation can lead to the best possible angle for a story. He asks, “What gestures, physical descriptions, or activities will add color to the story — or trigger new questions? The smallest details can make a huge difference, but sometimes we have a tendency to forget those details unless we make a conscious effort to record them. Keep your eyes peeled, and let no detail go undetected.

Observations in action → “Gathered around oversized stainless steel counters, six women are in the

kitchen with her this morning. Two are chopping lettuce for a salad, three are putting the finishing touches on mini Stromboli, and one is washing dishes. Some are in their twenties. Some are middle-aged and older. All in hairnets or bandanas, aprons, and oven mitts, they have more in common now than the abuse they have survived.”

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Use your senses

Sight. Smell. Taste. Sound. Touch. All of them have a place in narrative storytelling, but they can’t be incorporated unless the reporter is fully aware of his or her surroundings. Vivid descriptions bring your reader into the story, so be sure to take note of even those seemingly minute sensory details. Is your subject playing a certain CD in the background? Did you get a whiff of her perfume when you entered her office? Does he offer you a homemade cookie at your interview? Does the old quilt on the couch have a certain texture? Hear something interesting? Smell something curious? Don’t be afraid to ask! Get the name of the perfume. Ask what’s cooking. If the cat is meowing, ask what its name is.

Senses telling the story →

“She easily goes unnoticed as the smell of freshly fried food steals her customer’s attention. Her dark, frizzy hair is forced into a black hat that casts a shadow over her thick eyebrows and kind face. Beneath the harsh fluorescent lighting of the numbered-meal menu overhead, she doesn’t even notice herself — the way she deliberately punches the register buttons with one finger, rips the receipt tape in a fluid motion, and slams the drawer closed with purpose. Every. Single. Time.”

Don’t be shy

If your interview subject was kind enough to let you into his or her office, home, dance studio or church, chances are he or she won’t mind if you want to do a little more in-depth reporting. Don’t be afraid to request a closer look. Harrower writes, “…Interviewing is a social skill. You must be friendly, but aggressive. Polite, but probing…for many reporters, it’s the most fun part of the job.” So have fun! Ask you interview subject to give you a tour. You’ll learn more about his or her environment, and more stories will come out. See something interesting? Ask about it! Chances are your subject won’t offer detailed information unless you ask a specific question.

Curiosity paying off →

“’Looking through the dining room hutch, Beverly recalls where she acquired the silver and china that line the shelves — some from Italy, England, and Ireland, some inherited from a great aunt. “We travel a lot and always try to pick up things we can use in the house, not things that just sit there,’ she says.”

If you can learn

to focus on the right kinds of information during your interview, your story will practically write itself — or at least give you a little more help than you’re used to. As the “narrator” of the story you write, the most important thing is to soak it all in so you can wring it all out for the reader. Be a sponge.

The Writing Process

If you’ve done what you should during the interview process, then writing your narrative story will come naturally. When all the pieces of the puzzle are on the table, it’s easier to see the complete picture — the picture that is yours to create with a narrative approach. Of course, every good story undergoes multiple rewrites, so your first narrative story isn’t just going to materialize overnight. It takes time and practice, and with these methods, you’ll be well equipped for writing an engaging story like you never have before.

Start with a bang! The lead sets the tone for your entire story. When crafting a lead, think about the thread you want to weave from beginning to middle to end, as though you were making up a plot for fictional characters. Use your lead to entice your readers and keep them wanting more.

Avoid using direct quotes in leads, and NEVER start a lead with a question. Using a quote — unless it is a knockout quote or piece of relevant dialogue (we’ll discuss that later) — means the reporter was too lazy to craft his or her own original paragraph. Asking a question is just hokey.

Include description of your subject in action right off the bat. This is your opportunity to decide the starting point of your narrative. Say your story is about a student who volunteered on Thanksgiving:

Thumbs Down → “Ashley Jamison spent her time serving food at the local homeless shelter this Thanksgiving.” Thumbs Up → “With an ice cream scoop, she fills a corner of a Styrofoam plate with mashed potatoes and hands it to the first bearded man in line.

Harrower writes that narrative leads are like movies that “drop you right into the action.” He’s right! Narrative leads are the beginning of a movie, and it’s your job to keep that momentum going until the end credits roll.

(Continued on page 6)

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Narrative writing (Continued from page 5) Keep the momentum The narrative can’t stop at the lead! That’s just the beginning. By periodically returning to the action you introduced in your lead, the reader isn’t left hanging, wondering why you suddenly shifted gears after your narrative opening.

Return to the “scene” you set up. For example, in the story about the student volunteering on Thanksgiving, let’s say that it opens with a narrative lead then introduces some key information about the student for a paragraph or two.

Now it’s time to cut back to your narrative. Is she helping a new homeless guest now?

Would it be fitting to describe her apron or the interaction she has with fellow volunteers? Did you overhear any dialogue between your subject and one of the homeless guests?

Don’t over do it! You want to “sprinkle” the narrative throughout your story or imagine it as a thread that weaves in and out at different times. Overkill will turn your reader off, but the right balance of “show” and “tell” will lead the reader safely through your story from beginning to end.

the “Nut Graf” “Nut graf ” is a term you’ll hear being used by professional writers all over. In his book Reporting and Writing: Basics for the 21st Century, Chip Scanlan writes about the purpose of a nut graf: “The nut graf tells the reader what the writer is up to; it delivers a promise of the story’s content and message. It’s called the nut graf because, like a nut, it contains the kernel, or essential theme, of the story.”

Nut grafs are meant to be paired with narrative leads.

The lead is the first paragraph, and the nut graf (typically) directly follows. Harrower writes that the nut graf “condenses the story into a nutshell…And it’s vital. Without a nut graf, impatient readers may wonder What’s the point? and drift away, no matter how clever your lead is.”

A nut graf is information-driven. It answers the Who? When? Where? How? questions — though it doesn’t need to give everything away in one little paragraph. More information can reveal itself throughout.

Narrative lead → “Operating her wooden spinning wheel, Pam Kinnaman gently pulls a clump of white fleece with an effortless technique as she watches it transform into yarn. Just outside, a pasture and barn are home to her very own flock of sheep and camelids — llamas and alpacas — whose names and personalities she knows like those of her own children. On her Bloomfield, Ind., farm, with her husband, Tim, and a host of fiber-bearing animals, Pam is living out her dream.

Nut Graf →

Eleven years ago, the Kinnamans purchased the farm that they found online. Midwest transplants from Florida, Pam began populating the farm with sheep just a couple years later. She started to accumulate camelids more recently and says she’d like to have more. “I’m going crazy,” she says about her acquisition of llamas and alpacas. “I just can’t stop. It’s an addiction.”

Words from an expert What should students know about going into the narrative writing process with preconceived notions about their subjects? “You’re always surprised. I think it’s good to have some ideas or theories, but honestly life confounds our theories, and it’s usually much more beautifully complex and messy than our theories. And good reporters are open to that.“ Quill and Scroll


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Watch your language When using a narrative approach, description is key. One of the most overused (though accurate and still relevant) phrases in journalism is “show, don’t tell.” Although a writer uses words to convey a story, there is still ample opportunity to “show” instead of “tell.” One way to move toward a style of “showing” is to avoid vague language that, despite what your English teacher may have told you, isn’t doing much of anything at all.

Adjectives and adverbs can be a journalist’s worst nightmare. Overusing them makes a description vague and can quickly turn your story into something too elementary for your audience.

Thumbs Down → “Lazily he hit the snooze button on his alarm clock. He was tired and sleepily turned over in his bed. He was exhausted and avoided waking up very steadfastly.”

Thumbs Up →

“He rolled over with a groan. 7 a.m. had come too early, and with one swift smack to the snooze button on his digital alarm clock, he was back where he wanted to be — under the covers and dreaming.” Roy Peter Clark writes about adverbs (which can also be applied to adjectives), “Look for weak verb-adverb combinations that you can revise with stronger verbs: “She went quickly down the stairs” can become “She dashed down the stairs.” And “He listened surreptitiously” can become “He eavesdropped.” Give yourself a choice.” he says. In other words: simplifying your language will help drive your narrative story. Keep it clean, crisp, and focused.

Wrap up loose ends At the end of your story, be sure to return to the scene that has been woven throughout your whole piece. To neglect it at the end would be to leave readers with a cliffhanger ending, which is confusing and frustrating. Take the story about the student who volunteers on Thanksgiving:

The story opened with a scene in which the student is scooping mashed potatoes to serve to a bearded homeless man

at the local shelter. The end of the story should conclude the scene for the reader. If you put in some good observation time during the interview process, you should have a lot of material to choose from.

Conclusion at work →

“After almost six hours of serving homeless families, Jamison is told she’s free to go. She unties her apron, splattered with gravy and cranberry sauce, and peels back her hair net, ready to go home. ‘Bye, Miss Ashley!’ one man yells from the far table. ‘Happy Thanksgiving!’ she replies with a wave.”

A strong, memorable quote or bit of dialogue is considered to be one of the best ways

to end a feature story. It works when using a narrative approach! Bruce DeSilva of the Associated Press is quoted in Harrower’s Inside Reporting. “You should hear (the ending) echoing in your head when you put the paper down,” he says. “It should stay with you and make you think a little bit.” Harrower gives a few more tips on endings, including 1) “Don’t just stop a story because you ran out of material.” 2) “Don’t end stories by summarizing.” 3) “Avoid cute clichés.”

Tom French, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist now on the Indiana University School of Journalism faculty, shares more about his approach to narrative journalism. Go to www.uiowa.edu/~quill-sc/ to read and view a video of Tara Bender’s entire interview with French. Tell us what you think on the Quill and Scroll Honor Society Facebook page! Like us! About the author: Tara Bender taught English for three years before enrolling as a graduate student in Indiana University's School of Journalism. Her main interests are feature writing, publication design, and journalism education. Last summer she participated in IU's High School Journalism Institute as an assistant publication design instructor and was a student in the Management of Student Media course for advisers. She plans to pursue journalism at the professional level before returning to the classroom as a newspaper or yearbook adviser.

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Quill and Scroll

A Prestigious Past: the

Washington Post writer and Big Inch alumnus Tom Jackman agrees with this sentiment. “I would tell them to write, write, and then write some more,” Jackman said as his advice for high school journalists. “Get published as often as you can. Be edited. Get “I learned a lot about feedback as often as writing and being edited you can. That’s what while covering things in makes you better high school, and that really and that’s what any helped spark my interest media outlet, not just even more in becoming a print journalism, but professional journalist.” TV, radio, Internet. They all want to see that you can write.” Jackman grew up around journalists with two uncles working in the sports sections at newspapers. He attended Herndon High School in Virginia, where he wrote for The Stinger. By his junior year in 1977, Jackman was the news editor of the paper, and he became the editor-in-chief his senior year. In addition to his work on the school paper, Jackman wrote for two weekly newspapers. He wrote and took photos covering varsity sports for The Reston Times, and he also worked at The Herndon Observer. “It got me energized and motivated to do it full time,” Jackman said. “I really enjoyed covering things, writing about them, seeing them published right away, getting feedback on the stories. I learned a lot about writing and being edited while covering things in high school, and that really helped spark my interest even more in becoming a professional journalist.” Jackman attended Notre Dame University, where he majored in English and American Studies since the school did not have a journalism program. He worked on the student-run daily newspaper, which he called a great experience. He then went to work at The New York Times as a clerk for two years. Clerks usually write stories on their own time and try to gradually work their way on to the staff. “I worked on the foreign desk, which is really big,” Jackman said. “The competition was very heavy, and I was not good enough. I hadn’t had enough basic journalism training. I think it kind of hurt me that I didn’t go to journalism school, and then showed up at The New York Times.” He then became a full-time reporter for 14 years at The Kansas City Times, where he covered general assignments for one year, police and crime for five years, and federal courts for eight years. Jackman began working at The Washington Post in 1998. In 2002 and 2003, he covered the trial of one of the two snipers who terrorized the Washington, D.C. area. In 2007, he was the lead writer at The Washington Post covering the Virginia Tech shootings, for which he and his team won the Pulitzer Prize. “I was a part of a team, so I was one of like 10 people who got it,” Jackman said of the Pulitzer. “It felt very cool, very awesome.” Looking back to his days as a high school journalist, Jackman said he appreciated the experiences. He also was honored to be a member of the Big Inch Club. “It’s not the greatest name in the world, but I was thrilled to win that award,” Jackman said. “And I was really happy about it.”


Quill and Scroll Club Members Reflect By Sarah Larson University of Iowa

Before computers with spell check, cellphones, and the World Wide Web, there was the Big Inch Club. This Quill and Scroll club honored high school journalists who had written more than 10,000 column inches, an equivalent to writing 90 full pages of a daily newspaper. In 1947, Ronald Dugger of Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, Texas, became the first member of the Big Inch Club. After his induction, more than 80 high school journalists became members of the Big Inch Club until it ended in 1984. Richards Johns, who was the director of Quill and Scroll for 35 years beginning in 1972, said the Big Inch Club stopped because of a lack of entries. “I think it needs to be re-promoted,” Johns said. “Basically, explaining what it is because I’m sure there are high school students across the country who could achieve that. Of course, today compared to then when it was primarily newspaper column inches they were counting, they could probably also include online materials as well.” One member of the elite club is Greg Stiles. He was inducted in 1974, which was his junior year at Marshfield Senior High School in Coos Bay, Ore. Beginning in 8th grade, Stiles wrote for his school newspaper and the local daily, The World. Stiles said he worked nearly 30 hours a week for the papers, and he had written close to 10,501 inches at the time of his induction four years later. “It was a milestone,” Stiles said of his Big Inch Club induction. “Because I was not, at that point, thinking about going into journalism, I didn’t take advantage of it. I know at least one college journalism department got a hold of me, and I pretty much said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’” Yet, his journalistic experiences did not end in high school. Stiles received his master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from the American University in Washington, D.C., after majoring in history in college as an undergraduate and working for a year at the Mail Tribune, headquartered in Medford, Ore. Following graduate school, he returned to the Mail Tribune, where he was a sports writer for 20 years and a business writer for the past 10 years. After so many years of being in the business, Stiles said he thinks a threat to journalism is the creation of a blogosphere with many opinions and not many researched stories. He also said the watchdog function of the press has weakened and many issues need to receive closer examination. Stiles is concerned not many high school students work at the newspaper any more because the only way to become a better writer is to write as much as possible. “The more you produce, the better you get,” Stiles said. “The idea is just to do it and rewrite and learn as you rewrite.”

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Fall 2011

SPORTS WRITING “SURVIVAL ISLAND - The Digital Age” A New ‘Reality Series’ for Journalists

By Bob Denney PGA of America The late Tait Cummins, a Cedar Rapids Gazette news reporter turned sports writer and sportscaster, told me nearly 30 years ago that the sports department is the “envy of the newsroom.” “The newsroom’s daily fare,” said Cummins, “is a parade of all the sad things that take place in life. By comparison, the sports department is in the kiddie car of telling the news.” Had Tait been with us today to filter news in the digital age, he would find a sports writer’s role in society has not changed, but the information delivery system is far more sobering. Journalists struggling to maintain a niche in the sports industry have had to transform themselves with little warning. A shrinking newspaper industry and difficult job prospects in all sectors leads one to seek sanity and counsel from those who have adapted to the economy and technological change. “Master the tools – audio, video, Twitter, Facebook, podcasting, all that jazz,” says Dave Kindred of Golf Digest, recipient of the 2010 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism and a frequent lecturer to young journalists. “But do it only after mastering the nuts and bolts of storytelling. Only then will the tools matter at all, because without recognizing the story and telling it in an appealing way, there’s nothing.” Rick Reilly, a multiple National Sportswriter of the Year Award winner, established himself first as staff writer/columnist at Sports Illustrated before breaking out to be a popular author/television commentator. Reilly is today’s living example of a sports journalist perpetually “writing outside the box.” “When Jimmy Cannon and Red Smith (in his early days) were writing (and everybody before them), their job was simply telling sports stories that nobody had heard,” says Reilly. “This was about as hard as falling off a bar stool. Can you imagine? There was what, maybe five hours of sports on in a week of television in the 1950s? “Every clubhouse, every locker room, every train was chock full of great stories to be told. All a guy had to do was sidle up to an athlete, tip his hat back and say, ‘So, Tank, how’d you get that glass eye anyway?’ And, he’d report back to his readers some wonderful new character they’d never

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known. Today, ESPN, CNN, Fox, two beat writers on every team and 9,000 all-sports radio talk shows have done Tank to death.”

Finding A niche “The great sports writer today,” says Reilly, “must therefore find his own take on a familiar story (Frank Deford), find a tragic story that never made it to the media at all (Gary Smith), as with Jim Murray and Dan Jenkins, be the character himself.” In the true spirit of coaches he’s covered for years, Kindred stresses “the fundamentals.” “Learn to write; learn to tell a story,” Kindred says. “Then, learn how to tell those stories with new tools. Find an internship where you have a chance to do everything, not just one thing.” For the bewildered, how does one latch on to a style of writing and background information needed for a writer to be relevant to one’s readers? “Read everything from Deadspin to Shakespeare,” says Kindred. “Read today’s news, history lessons, listen to music lyrics, hear the poetry in them. Read good stuff and figure out why you think it’s good. Then copy it. Eventually, your own style will come through.” Kindred said that social media (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc.) has the value of allowing one to keep in touch with what people think. “Whether social media will ever be responsible news sources, I doubt it,” Kindred says, “but they’re valuable as windows into this minute’s thought.” As often as Reilly makes us laugh aloud by his outlandish metaphors, Reilly also sobers us up quickly by showcasing an injustice that demands our attention. “I think my strength is just that people take a pure delight in reading sentences they’ve never read before,” says Reilly. “I think my style wakes them up, shakes them up, and delivers them new ways to look or laugh or linger on a person, a team, and a sport they thought they knew.” Today’s sports journalist, eager to find a niche in an uncertain economy, must never become complacent. Always test the waters around “Sports Writer Island” for the best means to transport your message, your story. As Kindred and Reilly would attest, no two days are alike in “Sportsworld.”


Sports writing Tips for your Next Writing and Photo Contest Entry Get quotes from the famous athletes, not just a sketch. Add national research from medical professionals and reports from both prep and the NCAA on the subject. Interview the parents, and discover what precautions, if any, they have taken to help their son or daughter deal with walking the line of competing or not competing. If possible, check on those athletes who have had to quit athletics or risk injury or worse. Do not be afraid to gather as many facts as possible to bring us into the story. Condense information and trim down a quote that may feature more information than is necessary to drive home a point Work on describing the skills and training necessary in the sport. Refer to the latest Associated Press stylebook and study daily the work of leading journalists in both sports and general reporting

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courses from the College of Education and School of Journalism. Lynne Pye, senior continuing education coordinator, said the mix of disciplines is one of the program’s Journalism teachers and scholastic media key strengths. “An education master’s is advisers now have the opportunity to upvaluable in one’s chosen field,” she said. date their skill sets and even earn a master’s “This program allows teachers to learn degree right behind their computer screen. from experts about teaching as well as from Two highly recognized institutions journalists who have strength in that field. with accredited journalism schools—Kent That’s why this is a unique program.” State University in Ohio and the University Pye said the program began in 2005 of Missouri—offer fully online master’s deprimarily as a means to address the needs gree programs that cater to educators. of teachers in Missouri. “We started receiv At both institutions, students have the ing a number of messages and emails from option of enrolling in the full program or journalism teachers in Missouri who were simply taking a few classes to refresh speclose to retiring and were afraid that no one cific skills or explore new areas. would be qualified to take their place,” she While both programs stress core prinsaid. “We created the program to offer creciples of journalism education, such as dentials to teach journalism in Missouri.” press law and the foundations of report Since then, the program has gained ing and editing, each program’s format and popularity with journalism teachers all foundation is different. over the country. Students interact mainly Kent State’s program is offered fully through discussion boards and also comthrough its School of Journalism and Mass plete weekly readings and assignments. Communication. The 36-credit degree pro The program allows students to work gram focuses on key components of jourthrough material at their convenience nalism and the best ways to teach them. while remaining mindful of weekly dead Candace Perkins Bowen, assistant prolines. Classes cover a range of skills, from fessor and director of the program, said publication advising and reporting to huthe courses are geared toward meeting the man learning and media literacy. needs and challenges of today’s journalism The feedback about the program has teachers. “So many places offer a generic been positive, Pye said. Students often redegree in curriculum planning, adminisport that they’re learning many practical tration or even English,” she said. “Howevskills from their assignments and reader, this program allows advisers to pursue ings. something they are directly passionate Students may enroll in up to nine Some other institutions offer online schoabout.” credits hours as a non-degree seeklastic journalism courses even though they Kent State’s program began in ing student before formally enroll2007 when Bowen and several don’t offer a full degree program. More complete ing in the program. other instructors noticed a deinformation about each institution’s offerings is Students in this program sire from advisers around available on its respective website. also pay the in-state tuition the country for such an rate no matter where they opportunity. The phiThe University of Iowa offers the course “High School reside - $326.70 per credit losophy underlying the Publication Advising: Yearbooks, Newspapers and News Magahour, plus a $12.20 per program focuses on the zines” during the summer. credit hour informaeveryday classroom needs tion technology fee of journalism teachers, Michigan State University offers the summer course “Power and a $60 per credit Bowen said. Advising” aimed at experienced advisers who are looking for new hour School of “It’s important for advisers ideas and approaches. The University also offers online courses in Journalism fee or to understand certain concepts several other topics throughout the academic year. These include a $37.80 College like reporting, news, law and ethclasses about writing, law, business, publication design and of Education ics,” she said. “A point we stress in critical issues facing advisers (First Amendment theory, fee, depending on each class is finding ways to teach which type of course ways to work with administrators, etc.). MSU is also those concepts in the classroom. We it is. try to find ways to help those enrolled working to create a full degree program. For more informautilize them in their classrooms the very Eastern Illinois University offers severtion, contact Lynne Pye next day.” al summer scholastic media advising at pyel@missouri.edu. In addition to weekly assignments, discussion boards and text readings, many courses.

of the courses in Kent State’s program involve a weekly one-hour synchronous chat in which students interact directly with the instructor and fellow students. Bowen said this weekly chat is a key factor in forging an online learning community that mimics the traditional classroom. Courses in the program range from core skills like reporting and advising publications to specific niche skills like WordPress for Journalism Educators. Reactions from those enrolled have been very positive. “If anything some were surprised at how rigorous the coursework is,” Bowen said. “An incorrect notion exists among some that online work is ‘easier’ than that in a traditional classroom. However, they are comparable.” Students in the program pay the Ohio in-state tuition rate, no matter where they reside. For this school year, that equals $452 per credit hour and an additional $10 fee per credit hour. Students may also register for up to six credit hours as a non-degree seeking student before they choose to formally enroll in the program. For more information, contact Bowen at cbowen@kent. edu. The University of Missouri’s program, which is also 36 credits, is a combination of

Online Adviser Courses

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Fall 2011


How The Newtonian Staff Made The Journey to Successful Online Publishing By Erica Richard Newton High School, Newton, Kansas Reading a printed newspaper has never been a native experience for my high school journalists, but my students held tight to the printed medium. They spend countless hours online, yet our move to online publication has been a slow process.

Stepping into cyberspace In February 2008 with two-and-a-half years of advising experience, I approached our principal about publishing an online version of our high school’s newspaper. He gave his blessing, and we paid the ASNE Foundation a hosting fee. We were online. We began right away posting the articles from our January issue. Starting with our February issue we also began uploading a PDF version of our printed publication, which included a front-page headline that read, “The Newtonian hits the Web.” We had high hopes for our online product, as the article mentions. We were excited about the possibility of including photo galleries, and audio and video clips in the future. Though the possibilities were exciting, we soon found out how much additional work that would require for our staff of 10. We had a senior student who joined us on staff for the spring semester, so we dubbed her the webmaster. Her job was to post all of the stories and photos published in each issue of the newspaper to our online publication. Some of the content from the printed publication wasn’t available online for weeks after publication. The following year we had a small newspaper staff of nine. We made some changes to our printed publication, like moving to tabloid-sized printing, to encourage increased readership, but we didn’t change much about our online product. The editor took on the responsibility of posting content to the Web, and we continued to use the ASNE publishing platform through May 2009.

Establishing an online identity Though we had been sending our content out onto the Web for several years, we found it very difficult to guide potential visitors to our site. The URL for our site, http://myhighschooljournalism.org/ks/ newton/nhs, was long and cumbersome.

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We looked for places to include links to our site, like the high school’s Web page and on our local newspaper’s Website, but we knew not very many people were reading our online content. We knew we needed to have a recognizable Web address. As of Jan. 15, 2009, we became the proud owners of RailerNews.com. Our high school newspaper is The Newtonian, and we considered purchasing a domain name that incorporated that name, but we settled instead on a domain name that reflected our school’s mascot, the Railroaders or the Railers for short. This decision would be to our advantage as we worked to increase the quantity and quality of our online content down the road.

the Web. We could see the potential for expanding our content online, but it still wasn’t happening. By the end of the year, this would begin to change.

All hands on deck

For the first time, we had an online-editor-in-chief. The title is more official, but more importantly the student filling this role takes his job very seriously. When he took over as the person primarily responsible for our online publication, he began to lead by example. He posted photos and video from graduation, something that had never been covered in our newspaper, since the last issue is always published before the seniors leave. We also changed expectations for the WordPress rescue publications courses at the start of this At the start of the 2009-10 school year, school year. The yearbook and newspaper a student joined our staff who was excited staffs have begun working together to creabout being the online editor. She wanted ate an elaborate beat system. For example, to try using Wordpress, an online publish- rather than having two students cover dising tool commonly used for blogging. With trict administration (one from yearbook little knowledge of Wordpress, we ventured and one from newspaper), one student now covers that into the world of beat and shares content managethe information ment systems, with both staffs. though I wouldn’t All newspaper and come to learn that yearbook staff are term until later. also required to After attendcontribute unique ing sessions at the Web content once JEA/NSPA naduring every threetional convention week publication/ in Washington, deadline cycle. In D.C., I returned most cases these with a stronger online contribuknowledge of dotions come from main names, Web our beats. hosting and conWe can now say tent management that RailerNews. systems. Together, com is updated my students and several times a I learned what week, and in many choosing a theme cases daily. We still could do to move Newtonian staff members update have a lot of room our site from a RailerNews.com content. for growth, but we blog roll of posts - Photo by Erica Richard are posting sports to something that resembled a news site. We worked with our scores as they are available, photo gallerschool’s IT department initially to host our ies soon after events happen and breaking site on the school server, but we eventually news items that would be of little relevance by the time the newspaper (or the yearbought hosting space on an outside server. Though we had given a staff member book) is printed. Though the yearbook and the title of online editor, her primary task newspaper staffs are still very loyal to their was still to simply post the articles and print products, the students are beginning photos from our printed publication to to see the value of a strong online presence.


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Books in Journalism The Newest Books in Journalism Newest Books in Journalism The Newest Books in Jou e Books in Journalism The Newest Books in Journalism est Books in Journa The Newest Books in Journalism Looking for some quick reads to help you improve your writing? Need to think more strategically? These selections will help you do that and more, and won’t make you break the bank.

To the writers of various media seeking inspiration, and literature fans yearning to write their truth, but never understood the "techniques" to attempt, this book is for us, about us and more importantBy Barbara Bealor Hines ly, written by one of Howard University us. Jerry Lanson plungYou know you don’t like to carry a es into the mindset grammar book around, yet you rely on of the overwhelmed your iPhone or Android for help with writer who longs editing. But June Casagrande’s latest for a starting point book is one you can carry and consult on and influx of ideas a regular basis and not feel embarrassed. to achieve a successIt Was the Best of Sentences focuses ful writing end-reon one important part of the English sult. His anecdotes language: the sentence. The book is introduce us to the written by a journalist and syndicated psyche of any writcolumnist who knows how to grab an ing experience and audience. There aren’t a lot of rules in It reassure us that the Was the Best of Sentences. But you come process, or “end-reaway with a greater appreciation for sult,” is both univer“Taking the Punk Out of Punctuation;” sal—and more im“Words Gone Wild” and “Are Your portantly, personal. Relatives Essential?” It’s a great source The foundation of Lanson, Jerry. to have wherever you create. effective storytellWriting for Others, Writing for ing lies deep within Casagrande, June. our ability to draw Rowman & Littlefield Ourselves. It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the from our instincts, Publishers, Inc. $34.95. Worst of Sentences: A writer’s guide to observations of the world, senses and experiences. Whether a crafting killer sentences. Ten Speed Press. $17. blogger or journalistic reporter, the writer must yield to the intimate process, make discoveries, Back in the newsroom, it’s business as not so research deep into subject matter and align the usual. With more newsrooms being converged and organization of content with a clear purpose. operating on a faster clock, editors have to know Organized chronologically from the incephow to stay one step ahead of the staff. tion of an idea to the physical layout of content, Think Like an Editor can help your leadership the book invites readers to partake in the jourteam be successful in a time of budget cutbacks and ney of the writing experience. Through a balance rethinking staff assignments. Divided into 50 strateof self-deprecating humor and revelations of gies in the researching, writing and editing realm, his frustrations, breakthroughs and epiphanies Think does just that. It forces you to think and apply when writing, the author heightens his relation basic principles to be effective. to the audience. Narrated in first person, each In Part One, the planning begins. Think takes chapter highlights writing samples that vividly illustrate the author’s specific guidelines. At the the reporter and editor through the planning of the end of each chapter, the audience ponders over story to analyzing to assessing. Stuck on how to orspecific key questions to cause the mind to act. ganize? Can’t get the nut graph to have meaning? Writing for Others, Writing for Ourselves Worried about handling sensitive situations? You’ll clearly serves its purpose. As a writer of various find the answers here. platforms, including theatrical scripts, news stoPart Two has everyone working to edit the story ries and business communications, this reviewer – for punctuation, accuracy, fairness, balance, gramcould attest to the point that Lanson clearly deDavis, Steve and Emilie. mar and language, and for the Web. picts: The writer’s truth lives inside and around Think Like an Editor: 50 Strategies for There’s also discussion about how to us. place the story, depending on the medithe Print and Digital World. Encouraging and successful in demystifying Wadsworth Cengage Learning. $43.25. um involved, and generate interest with the writing experience, the book should emthe graphics, photos and promotion. power any reader to grab the nearest paper and In conclusion, Part Three deals with responsibility: corrections, credibility, plagiarism, pen—or laptop, and freely express his or her fabrication, and deadline pressure. It treats these important concepts in a matter-of-fact compelling truth. style. No need not to understand the right way to be successful. Davis and Davis are husband and wife journalists, now faculty and administrator at the - Stella-Monica N. Mpande is a Mass CommuniS.I Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse, University. They’ve crafted a cations & Media doctoral student and speech inhandy book reflecting their experience and news savvy. structor at Howard University.

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Fall 2011

The Newest Books in JournalismThe Newest Books in e Newest Books in Journa The Newest Books in Journ The Newest Books in Journalism The Newest Books in Nist-Olejnik, Sherrie and Jodi Patrick Holschuch. College Rules! How to Study, Survive and Succeed in College. 3rd ed.. Ten Speed Press, $14.99. Refreshingly honest. Brutally truthful. This is the book that every high school graduate must embrace in a ceremonial induction into the new world of ‘college.’ After all, every college graduate only yearns to have read this book, prior to enrollment. Representing voices of an administrator, faculty member, student adviser, parent and more importantly- a former college student, the authors guide freshmen and returning college students throughout the unique, yet ironically, universal college experience. The authors illustrate the silent, yet active discourse between unassuming college students and faculty, as well as staff, by providing insight into each of their mindsets and expectations. Students learn about their newfound responsibilities and independence that range from aspects of registration and finances to work-social life balance. The book encourages college students to adapt quickly to the academic structures of the collegiate culture, accomplish goals and maintain sanity in what could otherwise, overwhelm the unprepared student. Juxtaposing colloquial diction with wry humor that accompanies “wise, college-veterans who have seen it all - been there, done that,” the authors relate to, and engage their audience. Narrated in firstperson that solicits frank disclosure, the authors heighten their credibility as pragmatic, well-intentioned counselors with a primary account of academic realities. Each of the book’s 20 chapters provides tips, text boxes of ‘urban legends,’ anecdotes, quotations, and other guidelines that conveniently address and clarify readers’ questions, concerns and issues. Although College Rules! delves into the caveats of, and solutions to succeed in an ambiguous, academic terrain, the book could have emphasized the impact that diversity and social dynamics of any college campus have on students’ learning experiences. Consequent of their plethora of backgrounds and orientations, college students inadvertently experience various forms of “cultural shock” that challenge their identities, relationships with others, and contribute directly to their academic development. Overall, readers will enjoy the practical, yet humorous guidebook of academic planning that College Rules! provides and, perhaps, reap fruit once applied to their own academic journey. - by Stella-Monica N. Mpande

Journalism awards Program

Use your journalism skills to make a difference and create awareness about the number one killer of teens—car crashes—and the importance of stronger teen driving laws at a state and national level.

an article about how stronger teen driving laws have been proven to save lives and publish it in your high school paper.

A broadcast story about how stronger teen driving laws have been proven to save lives and have it air on your student television network.

Either way, the final step is to submit it—with your completed entry form—to

by march 1, 2012 Visit KeeptheDrive.com for tools and resources to help you get started!

Fall 2011


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The College Journalism Experience Finding a Home Away from Home

It pains me to admit this, but I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a journalism major when I set foot on the campus of Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State) in San Marcos as a naive, wet-behind-the-ears college freshman in that fall of oh-so-many years ago. Coming from a very small high school in a very small town in Central Texas, my By Ray Westbrook connection to that field I soon came to know President, CSPAA as journalism was limited to the daily Houston Post and the CBS and NBC channels our RCA’s rabbit ears brought in from nearby Temple and Waco television stations. Yes, it was a glorious day when we realized that the new ABC affiliate would reach our small town giving us — gasp — three stations from which to choose to watch the likes of the “Beverly Hillbillies,” “Mission Impossible” and “Gilligan’s Island.” When I found Labor Day approaching — my first away from home — with my roommate and lots of guys on my floor departing for their homes in nearby Austin and San Antonio, it dawned on me that I would not have many of my new friends around for the long weekend. I remember vividly having that spark of a moment on that Saturday afternoon: “I was editor of my high school yearbook (all 96 pages of it), so why not find the yearbook office and see if they need some help?” So, after locating Leuders Hall on a college map, I decided to trudge up the hill and announce my availability. “Surely,” I thought, “the yearbook staff members will view me as the second coming and will welcome me with open arms.” If I’d known much about campus life, I would have never thought to go over to a college yearbook office on a Saturday afternoon. College journalists are much too cool to be on campus on a holiday afternoon, right? But, perhaps someone was looking after that shy freshman on that afternoon because, lo and behold, after finding my way into the

“It doesn’t matter whether you are majoring in journalism or aerospace engineering, if you have high school journalism experience, you’ll be surprised how welcoming any college media group will be” second-floor office, I was happy to find the faces of the editor, assistant editor and business manager, busily typing away and filing precut index cards with lots of numbers and codes penciled in. As it turned out, the yearbook team was there that Saturday afternoon, tallying yearbook sales from course registration a few days earlier. (This was before online registration and yearbook companies providing computer marketing for book sales). I quickly introduced

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myself. Jane, Suzi and Ross were grateful to get an extra hand to help with the drudgery of filing, and my introduction to “journalism” was made official. Quickly, I found my second home in the yearbook office and, after learning that to be editor of the Pedagog, you had to be a journalism major, I quickly declared this strange field to be my new major, tossing aside the earlier choice of English with a quickness that stunned my parents. “Honey, what do you do with this journalism thing?” my mother asked in a phone conversation when I called to tell my parents not to be surprised when journalism would be listed on my official student paperwork that would go out shortly. Such knowledge — or lack thereof — of journalism might sound incredibly naive to high school students today. But, that story just illustrates how far the journalism experience has come — and the increased awareness that today’s high school students have in taking their work to the next level. It makes no matter if you come from a tiny high school like mine, or one with more than 4,000 students, the college experience can be an exciting one. Like that shy freshman of so many years ago at good ol’ Southwest Texas State, students of today can find their college homes in the journalism wing, pub-home, or communications complex wherever they may be. It doesn’t matter whether you are majoring in journalism or aerospace engineering or computer programming, if you have high school journalism experience, you’ll be surprised how welcoming any college media group will be. I guarantee, they’ll put you to work — and, today, it won’t be filing index cards! Students from my classes in past years have found journalism to be comfortable and cozy “homes” in their first years in college. I hear often from students who become design editors, feature editors, special projects managers, freelance writers, broadcasters who get to travel and report on major NCAA sports events, and bloggers — all because they happened to pop into the media office and offer their services. So, take that first step. Don’t be shy or intimidated. Find out where the newspaper office is — or the broadcasting studios. Introduce yourself, take some samples of your work, and be prepared to hit the ground rolling. You’ll find your college experience richly enhanced and you’ll make lots of new friends with countless new experiences and opportunities afforded you. And, just think, unlike me, you’ll already know what the word “journalism” means!

“So, take that first step. Don’t be shy or intimidated. Find out where the newspaper office is — or the broadcasting studios. Introduce yourself, take some samples of your work, and be prepared to hit the ground rolling”


Fall 2011

JEA Notes

‘We Got Those Covered’

Journalism meets multiple 21st century readiness standards Earlier this fall at a local journalism workshop for high schools in our activities league, University of Colorado journalism and mass communications professor Paul Voakes spoke to students and advisers about life after high school. During the question-and-answer portion of his presentation, Voakes, the former dean of the School of Journalism and Mass By Mark Newton Communication, addressed an important President, JEA question: “What skills do I need to get into a solid college journalism program?” Voakes told the audience the most important skill to have coming out of high school into a journalism degree program was a solid proficiency in the basics of writing, including journalistic style. “Students need to be good at everything,” he said about basic writing skills. Voakes also identified news judgment as essential. Journalism students must possess a heightened sense of curiosity. “What will our readers be truly interested in?” Voakes asked. “What are people talking about? Who will know the answer?” Finally, Voakes suggested that finding stories that interested them was OK, but finding stories that were interesting to a wider audience was all the better. And, he added, that the power of observation would drive that compelling storytelling. After hearing Voakes eloquently explain what students needed to make it into a college journalism program and hearing what skills are required for successful journalists in the future (“8 Must-Have Traits of Tomorrow’s Journalist” http://mashable.com/2009/12/09/future-journalist/) honestly I felt pretty darn good. “We do that,” I thought. “My students are going to be just fine.” And, I bet, so will yours. Yes, the students in our journalism classes will be fine — even if they are not going to major or minor in journalism/mass communication. I actually think our journalism students are the bestprepared students for whatever discipline they choose. I have no doubt journalism students are among the best prepared for the demands of higher education. And, so do those experts clamoring for changes to the U.S. educational system — although they might not yet know it! The kinds of skills and traits we’re teaching in our journalism classes, especially our student media programs, are exactly the skills and traits that our education and political leaders are demanding, our parents are asking for and, most importantly, our students want (and enjoy). Currently, this is most evident with the Common Core Standards Initiative (see more information at www. corestandards.org) and the 21 Century Skills (www.p21.org). The English/Language Arts Common Core standards include reading, writing, speaking and listening. The standards define what students should understand and be able to do by the end of each grade. As of late September, only six states (Alaska, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia) have not yet adopted the standards. One part of the mission statement says, “The

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standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” Once you take the time to review the standards, it is quite evident that journalism may very well be the new English. We don’t have the space to review all the standards (some of the Social Studies standards may also apply to journalism), but let’s take a quick look at writing. Of the 10 College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing, journalism meets every single one. Additionally, the standards contain basic notes that further explain what 21st century skills students should know and be able to do and journalism eloquently addresses each one. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills website says P21 “provides tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs and 4Cs (Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and innovation).” The 21st Century Skills framework identifies three broad The 21st Century Skills framework identifies three broad categories, each with several subcategories, of skills that are essential for students to “survive and thrive in a complex and connected world:

Learning and Innovation Skills: Creativity and Innovation, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, and Communication and Collaboration

Digital Literacy Skills:

Information Literacy, Media Literacy, and Information and Communication Technologies Literacy.

Career and Life Skills:

Flexibility and Adaptability, Initiative and Self-Direction, Social and Cross-Cultural Skills, Productivity and Accountability, Leadership and Responsibility.


categories, each with several subcategories, of skills that are essential for students to “survive and thrive in a complex and connected world.” I’m positive I don’t even need to tell you that, “Yes, yes, yes! We got those covered.” If we were going to create the perfect classes to meld the Common Core standards with the 21st Century framework it would, without a doubt, be journalism. I’m excited to report that several state scholastic press associations — Michigan, Wisconsin and Colorado, to name a few — have already started doing so. And, the Journalism Education Association has established a committee, led by National Council of Teachers of English liaison Brian Wilson and North Central/Region 3 director Gary Lindsay, to make the case that as states, school districts/corporations, schools and departments work to implement these new educational models, journalism is front and center. If the workplace is demanding a new kind of employee and colleges are demanding a new kind of student, then scholastic journalism is best prepared to deliver that student.

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2011 Quill and Scroll Scholarship Winners

“ “ “

“ “ “

In my four years I feel as though I have learned about virtually any topic, from the state of our nation’s economy, to how a school play is run. I love the variety of topics I get to address, and how I never know what I will write next.

I think practicing journalism in high school benefited me the most in that it made me realize what I want to do with my life. I was obsessed with newspaper in high school. I loved what I was doing, and it made me realize that journalism is going to be my career.

Logan Ponche Drury University

Elisabeth Dillon University of Texas - Austin

I quickly learned, through journalism class and dedication to the paper, how to be assertive ... This is a skill I cherish. It has brought most of my success in journalism competitions, writing and my outside life.

Working on a high school journalism staff has given me the necessary tools to succeed in both college journalism and the journalism world beyond. But it’s more than that. Journalism has helped develop skills and ideas vital to success in life...

Jackie Tempura Emerson College

Catherine King University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

As I close the door on the high school journalism chapter of my life and prepare to continue my pursuit of journalism in college, I take with me the valued benefits of having worked on a high school paper.

In the three years of taking journalism classes, I learned there is no such thing as having too much information. There is nothing too complicated or too shameful to ask.

Lauren Smith Moraine Valley Community College

Zev Hurwitz The University of California - San Diego

Check out www.uiowa.edu/~quill-sc/ to learn more about how high school journalism prepared these Quill and Scroll scholarship winners for their careers as college journalists.

Pi Delta Kappa



crossroads MSSU Alumni Publication

award-winning student publications.


trails in new media, radio, and broadcast.


professional options via media internships, practicums, and professional associations.

Let us help you map your journey and Scroll 16 to Quill a successful career in communications!

Department of Communication Bachelor of Arts mass commuications print and broadcast public relations speech and theatre Bachelor of Science mass communication public relations speech and theatre communication education

Fall 2011 www.mssu.edu

SPLC Notes

Photojournalists v. Authorities: Know Your Rights Missouri high school photojournalist

Privacy Protection Act to the state prosecutor, she returned all of Chase Snider spent an uncomfortable the seized photos and apologized. amount of his senior year in the princiThe federal Copyright Act says that photographs – like any piece pal’s office – not for any rules he broke, of creative work – belong to the person who creates them. It doesn’t but for the photos he shot. matter whether you own the camera; what matters is that your cre At least twice last school year, officials ativity went into taking the photo. If anyone, even the principal of at Kickapoo High School confiscated a school, tries to take away or destroy photos that you’ve shot, that the pictures Snider took, using a schoolprobably is an illegal theft. Of course, there is no right to keep phoissued camera, of students who had tographs that you shoot unlawfully. been injured at school functions. Recently, both professional and student journalists have been By Frank D. LoMonte Snider was prevented from publishrunning into conflict with police officers who are unwilling to be Executive Director, SPLC ing the photos in the student newsphotographed or recorded while performing their duties. paper or on the paper’s website, even Police sometime argue that their safety will be at risk if videos though student editors believed the events were newsworthy. of them – which can be altered to be misleading – circulate on the Clashes between photojournalists and the police, or school Web. But there can also be real journalistic value to such recordauthorities, are increasingly common. And these clashes are not ings. Journalists and bystanders at times have been able to expose limited to the student world. Even professional photojournalists police misconduct, or just help the public better understand how often find themselves in trouble with the law because of what they law enforcement agencies work, by sharing images of officers in acphotographed or where they were standing. tion. Many of these conflicts can be minimized by knowing a little On Aug. 26, 2011, a federal appeals court in Boston decided in about the law, and by knowing some strategies for getting out of a the case of Gilk v. Cunniffe that there is a clear First Amendment jam without losing your photos or spending the night in jail. constitutional right to record police officers at work in public places This is where knowing a little law can really come – and that right belongs to ordinary citizens, not just to professional Rule in handy. Back in 1971, the police came burstjournalists. Rule ing into the student newsroom at StanRemember that the police can impose “reasonable” limits on Number One: alNumber One:It’sIt’s ford University in California, demandthe access of anyone, including journalists, to scenes of crimes ways legal take, keepkeep and always legalto to take, ing to see pictures of a protest rally and disasters. What they cannot do, legally, is share images of of whatever share images whateverR u l e that the newspaper hadn’t pub- and discriminate against journalists. youcan cansee see when when your you your Number feet are Two: It’s lished. Also remember that there is no feet are planted on a or side The students went to court, planted on a public street special legal right to trespass just never legal for the police public street or sidearguing that the search was il- walk. There is no privacy law against because you are a journalist. Your walk. There is no to take away your camera, press pass is not a license to break legal. The U.S. Supreme Court photographing anyone – even a miprivacy law against unless they show you a court or- the law. decided that there was no law nor der.park Evenorif waiting the police think you’re p h–o walking t o g r a p h iin n gthe against the search. So Congress Knowing your legal rights is for the bus. trespassing on private property or helpful, but at the scene of a fire or anyone – even created one. a minor – walk- standing too close to a burning a car wreck, it’s more useful to be a In 1980, Congress passed the Privacy Protection Act, a law that ing in the park building, they can chase you diplomat than a lawyer. protects the rights of all journalists – If police are trying to keep you or waiting for away, but they’re never eneven unpaid students – to be free from from shooting photos or video, try to titled to erase your picthe bus. police searches. The law says that no governask questions instead of making argutures. ment employee can seize or search any journalist’s ments. Don’t worsen the situation by losing notes, photos or other unpublished work for use in a criminal inyour temper, or yelling about your First Amendvestigation. ment rights. Police don’t like public displays of disrespect. Start bar The purpose of the law is to make sure that journalists can gaining. Can you back away two steps and still get your shot? Maybe protect their sources. If sources know that journalists’ material that’s far enough back. can easily get into the hands of police, then they may stop provid If the discussion is getting out of hand, ask for a moment to ing information, and news stories will dry up. get your editor on the phone. It’s much safer for the person doing If the police want to see journalists’ private information, they the arguing to be on the telephone – because that person can’t be must get a court order from a judge, after giving the journalists a dragged off in handcuffs. chance to get a lawyer and make their best arguments against the Most importantly, (almost) no photo or video is worth a night search. in jail. If the choice is between handing over your camera and get The law was used in Virginia in April 2010 when police ting arrested, your freedom is more valuable than your pictures. showed up at the newsroom of The Breeze, the newspaper at James Make your protest, respectfully, and if forced to surrender your Madison University, demanding to see photos shot at a street pargear, get to a phone and get in touch with a lawyer as soon as posty that turned into a riot. When the students’ lawyer showed the sible to try to stop the police from erasing the images.

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Journalism & Tech

Useful Websites to Help Improve Web Design and Content Almost every high school media class, every high school journalist and every high school media teacher is interested in having an online presence. Not long ago, only “online” publications were online. Now, yearbooks and newspapers that distribute print editions are going online. The Web is a great way to promote their print products and to provide immediate distribution for photos and stories that otherwise would wait weeks or months for distribution – or might not make the print edition. Individual students and teachers also see having an online presence as a way of having a digital portfolio, sharing views or building community. Here are three sites that can provide ideas to improve your online presence – whether it’s for the school publication or for personal use, whether to start a blog or to hand code a website.

‘Freshly Pressed’ on WordPress.com Go to the homepage of WordPress.com and click on “Freshly Pressed,” and find a selection of 11 blog posts chosen to illustrate good practices in blogging. Blogs hosted on WordPress.com are selected based on a set of criteria (strong writing, good photography and more) to become “Freshly Pressed” on weekdays. Follow “Freshly Pressed” to see the range of topics people cover in their blogs and see some interesting strategies for posting content effectively. “Freshly Pressed” is a great site for a publication staff or individual who is starting a blog or improving an existing blog. It offers ideas for different kinds of posts (lists, Q&A, photos, etc.), effective headlines, and photos and artwork. WordPress.com is free and provides a number of easy-to-set-up-and-use templates.

By Judy L. Robinson and Julie E. Dodd College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida

Adobe Kuler to assist with Color and Design When you care about the color strategies for the spaces you design – online or print – you will appreciate how Adobe’s Kuler can help you choose color schemes. If you need ideas for a color scheme that will evoke the right tone, you can surf through five panel schemes others have designed. Save them to your own work area and call them up later to show your design team. Or, if you have a dominant banner or photo, you can upload that photo to Kuler and select a range of colors to go with that photo for your website, blog or spread. Access to Kuler is free online at http://kuler. adobe.com Keep watch. Any day now, Kuler will be released for iOS (think iPad) and Android.

Stroll through the CSS Zen Garden If you need ideas for increasing the visual appeal of your online spaces and you have never strolled through the pages of the CSS Zen Garden, you owe yourself the experience. The Garden has been online for a few years, but there are still submissions from around the world being added regularly. CSS stands for cascading style sheets – which is the part of the code in a blog or a website that shapes how online pages appear. The CSS Zen Garden is a place where the written content of each page is exactly the same, but each page’s CSS has been designed by different people around the world to have a different theme and style. In the Zen Garden you can see how the same words can be delivered to you from the depths of underwater or from the wilds of remote safari lands. You don’t have to be a CSS coder to visit and get ideas for how you might use visual metaphors and design for an online paper or yearbook. Posted at http://www.csszengarden.com are 210 Zen designs officially accepted into the Garden and 1,039 designs that didn’t make the cut. View both categories for inspiration for your own pages.

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Fall 2011

Northern Illinois University’s journalism program provides students with a broad-based liberal arts education combined with an array of skills and theory courses. Skills courses teach students to gather, evaluate, publish, and disseminate materials written, photographed, or produced in writing, photography, layout, electronic, and/or broadcasting courses. Theory courses educate students about the critical role mass media play in society and about the importance of professional standards. The degree prepares students to function effectively in a multimedia and multicultural journalism environment and to understand the ethics of the profession. Majors may choose to emphasize print journalism (including visual communication, photojournalism, and desktop publishing), public relations, or broadcast news. Students can select courses from a variety of areas to gain experience in many different forms of journalism. The program requires students to complete either a minor or a second major in order to acquire the full-range of knowledge necessary to function effectively as a professional journalist. For those interested in broadcasting, NIU has the Northern Television Center, which provides students with the opportunity to create and produce a nightly news show from the ground up. Many of our students also hold reporting and editorial positions for the award-winning school newspaper, the Northern Star. Our faculty are experts in a wide variety of research areas, such as media sociology, globalization and international communication, health activism, international media, digital photojournalism, cultural studies, and race, ethnicity, and media. Many also have substantial professional experience and their classes reflect the latest technologies and course materials. At NIU, journalism students are encouraged to participate in cutting edge research and have the opportunity to work with a highly engaged and caring faculty. NIU’s journalism program offers excellent preparation for a successful and fulfilling career in journalism. For additional information about Northern’s journalism program, please contact Susan Oppenborn at 815-753-5354 or soppenborn1@niu.edu.

Fall 2011


Quill and Scroll

QUILL & SCROLL Official Magazine of the International Honorary Society for High School Journalists 100 Adler Journalism Bldg., Room E346 Iowa City, IA 52242-2004

In four years ( TA K E A D E E P B R E AT H )

you can:

Be a part of the nationally-recognized

Indiana Daily Student newspaper or website, the IU yearbook, campus radio or TV; follow previous students

to internships at Time magazine, CNN or The Wall Street Jour nal; report on HIV/AIDS in Africa; head south to learn about media explore the latest communications at the South by Southwest festival in Austin; visit media

in Chile; technology Interactive

outlets in Chicago; study at the National Sports Journalism Center; compete in (and win!) the Hearst writing contest; work in a student-run advertising agency; meet journalism legends such as Bob Woodward of Watergate fame and rising stars such as Lisa Ling; or ‌ create your own experiences.

Journalism Experiences Classrooms without walls. Learn more at journalism.indiana.edu

Quill and Scroll


Fall 2011

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