Quill & Scroll SPRING 2017
1 • Quill & Scroll • Spring 2017 RETIRING THE RED PEN PHOTO AND TECH ADVICE
Writing a New Chapter Vanessa Shelton Golden Staff
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IN THIS ISSUE
ol Journalis o h c
Editor and Business Manager Vanessa Shelton
Executive Director, Quill and Scroll Society
Senior, University of Iowa
Capturing Real Stories Candace Perkins Bowen Do It Yourself
Staff Contributor Bailey Zaputil
Junior, University of Iowa
Staff Contributor Marni Wax
Retiring the Red Pen Barbara Bealor Hines Photography and Technology Advice Julie E. Dodd There’s Sand In My Shorts Mark Newton
Junior, University of Iowa
Contributing Editors Julie E. Dodd
Professor Emerita, College of Journalism and Mass Communication The University of Florida, Gainesville
Bruce E. Konkle
Professor, College of Journalism University of South Carolina, Columbia
2016 Yearbook Excellence Winners
About The Cover This photograph by Morgan Latham of Shawnee Mission North in Overland Park, Kansas, was a winner in the 2016 Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society Yearbook Excellence Contest in the Sports Action Division, Category A. See the complete list of winners at: http://quillandscroll.org/contests/ yearbook-excellence-contest where a sampling of winning entries in a CD PowerPoint presentation with judges’ comments can be ordered.
Barbara Bealor Hines
Professor Emerita, Mass Communication and Media Studies, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Volume 91 - Issue 2 Magazine of Quill and Scroll International 2 • Quill & Scroll • Spring 2017 Honorary Society for High School Journalists
O RTIN F G N ER OU I O M P D M J E U TOM O NEW DIRECTOR S R C A E O N S V I W H I G L I O P L T I A S A A G S N E N G N P I R D I R T O T U U I C Jeff BrowneHjoins as Quill and S H I NVE O OS R J J L W S K P A T L R A N I R A O R R executive O ScrollGnew director N G U P W O O N S J I S T P R R I I G E O N I WR ING P DERSH DINJuly G F 23-27, T R 2017 O O P A H O E E OJ LIS TION L SIGN C TIVIowa E R City, OIowa T H A A E J P G C D I I R G L T C O I N S F I H E T P V G I N I GRAPHIC DESIGN E D GRA TING IN AL WRADVANCED V I O T C A N I N CODING FOR JOURNALISM G WR PERSO DESIG ENSTI NAL CULTURE WRITING: O A V G C S I N R & FILM IN APH ING I FOOD,GFASHION E E P L R N IN ATREPORTING IO A K G E WRIT LISHINVESTIGATIVE C I ONLINE PUBLISHINGGR B L R U B U K W SNO T INE P M PU WITH O O B E L S R R I N PERSONAL WRITING: A L U O RNA M YCOLUMNS, E BLOGS, T L REVIEWS U M C PUBLIS JOU RNALIS LISPHOTOJOURNALISM A E U N P N I O PUBLICATION LEADERSHIP R J L M U N S O ACADEMY I O J L A G A N E FOR ORTIN OSPORTS R Y JOURNALISM U M J S I P O YEARBOOK AL ALIS RE PHOT RN U N G O R COURSES FOR U ADULTS ONLINE J N I S O O T J G R R N O I O P T F S ING R UR O P E D O R iowajournalism.com J O O C TIVE T A O N H A TonIGpage TING P S JOUR O Read Roxann Elliott’s “Do It Yourself” column T J 11 for more on “Taking the Lede” documentary. RI R R O G FO W P S P P N I I E H D R S O E Jeff Browne has been appointed executive director of Quill and Scroll Society beginning July 5. Currently the director of CU News Corps at the University of Colorado Boulder, Browne will succeed Vanessa Shelton as Quill and Scroll director. She is retiring after nearly 10 years in the position. As executive director, Browne will direct the international honor society and also will serve as editor of Quill & Scroll magazine and other organization media and will direct Quill and Scroll Foundation. Browne has extensive experience in scholastic journalism education, including as the executive director of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association from 2009-2013 and of the Colorado Scholastic Press Association from 20032004. In addition to working with the CU News Corps student media project at the University of Colorado, Browne is a journalism instructor teaching two to three courses per semester. Under his direction, the News Corps students produced an award-winning documentary “Taking the Lede: Colora-
do Edition,” which won a Best of Competition Award in 2016 at the BEA Festival of Media Arts. The documentary aired on Rocky Mountain PBS in June 2016. He served as producer of the film about First Amendment rights for Colorado high school student journalists. From 1999-2009, Browne advised student media at Colorado State University and taught high school journalism, English and history from 1990-1999. He also has worked as a journalist in Florida. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Florida. Browne has been active in national journalism organizations. He is completing a two-year term through October as head of the Scholastic Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). He has been active in national scholastic journalism organizations and conferences (JEA and NSPA) and has taught at summer journalism workshops. He was director of the Kansas Journalism Institute summer workshop from 2009-2013. For more than a year, he has volunteered with Intercambio de Communidades teaching English to Spanishspeaking immigrants in Boulder County, Colorado. Quill and Scroll, headquartered at the University of Iowa, has encouraged excellence in scholastic journalism education and academics since 1926 through membership in its honor society and services such as contests, publications and resources. More than 11,000 schools internationally hold Quill and Scroll charters. Each year, more than 6,000 high school students are inducted into Quill and Scroll Honor Society based on academic and journalistic accomplishments.
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WRITING A NEW CHAPTER Vanessa Shelton joined Quill and Scroll Honor Society as executive director in 2007, after leading the Iowa High School Press Association and Summer Journalism Programs at the University of Iowa for 10 years. Parts of this article were included in the Scholastic Journalism Division Honors Lecture she presented in 2015 at the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication convention in San Francisco.
This is my last issue of Quill & Scroll magazine as editor. I am retiring as executive director of Quill and Scroll Honor Society after almost 10 years. My successor, Jeff Browne, will usher in a new era of the organization, effective July 5. (Read about Jeff Browne’s appointment on page 3.) I became involved in scholastic journalism education mid-career, following two decades of practicing journalism as a news reporter and, more recently, as a media relations editor. Perhaps that’s why retiring seems premature. Yet, as a good friend advised, “It’s time.” I’m among the old guard in scholastic journalism circles. My peers are retiring in rapid succession, or are moving on. In this issue, you’ll notice longtime Quill & Scroll book review columnist Barbara Bealor Hines, who has been an emerita professor at Howard University the past few years, penned her last report. Journalism and Technology columnist Julie Dodd is winding up her first year as University of Florida professor emerita, but thankfully continues as a magazine columnist and contributing editor, as well as a Quill and Scroll board trustee. The other contributing editor, Bruce Konkle, just announced plans to retire from the University of South Carolina faculty. Other Quill & Scroll columnists, though not retiring, are changing positions and, consequently, will no longer regularly share their perspectives and experiences on these pages. Mark Newton has completed his tenure as president of the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and is succeeded by Sarah Nichols. Frank
LoMonte is joining the Brechner Center press-freedom think-tank at the University of Florida, leaving the helm of SPLC, effective July 31, after nine years. What’s more, this is the last issue for Assistant Editor Mo Cheetany, who is graduating. Certainly, you know this turnover phenomenon very well as editors graduate, staff members elect to take other classes, and, yes, advisers or administrators change jobs and retire. Organizational change is one constant in the evolving world of journalism we inhabit. As I turn the page in the book of life, I felt compelled to share six pearls of wisdom from this journalistic vista. You’re familiar with many of them. They are so crucial, however, they are worth revisiting.
Seek the truth. Truth and accuracy go hand-in-hand. They are the bedrocks of journalism. Without them, credibility goes out the door and, subsequently, audiences lose reasons to engage in your content. Sources lose confidence in your ability to tell their story and refuse to be interviewed. Correct spelling, accurate dates, properly citing sources are just as important as clearly explaining developments.
Practice ethically. Related to seeking the truth, the proliferation of news channels cultivates weeds, often referred to as fake news, which is fueling discussions in journal-
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istic circles. There are two columns that address this topic in this issue of Quill & Scroll. To fabricate or purposefully tell stories slanted to promote an agenda under the guise of journalism is unethical. Bottom line, these reports are inaccurate. To practice in an ethical manner, mindfully cover and report stories. Take inventory of your biases, including implicit ones, and intentions. Step away from the assignment if you cannot approach the topic fairly. Repeat after me, just because it’s legal to report a subject doesn’t mean you should. Evaluate the purpose and potential harm before publishing content. This doesn’t mean shying away from tough topics, like the Pittsburg (Kansas) High School journalists’ story questioning the authenticity of their newly hired principal’s credentials. To turn a blind eye to such events is also unethical. The reporting by Booster Redux staff identified discrepancies that led to the principal’s resignation.
Cultural diversity. An essential component in sound journalism is the presence of viewpoints and stories that accurately tell the stories of a community, school, city and other locales. Otherwise, the picture is incomplete. When we consider some of the top news stories of late, prominent among them is coverage of racial unrest and disparities, immigration issues related to ethnicity and religion, employment and fair wages, marriage rights and women’s health. Coverage of these developments has, once
again, caught the news media flat-footed. It was a complaint in the Kerner Commission report in 1968, and this shortcoming continues today. The silences will be filled, but by whom. Will mainstream media include the myriad voices in these discussions? Will scholastic media target its distinct constituencies to fill the void? Certainly, scholastic journalists are wellpositioned with ready access to a wide range of stories and sources to make significant contributions to the dialogue.
Fairness and balance. As you probably notice, there’s a common thread sewing together these key practices, including fairness and balance. Coverage must be fair and balanced to be accurate and truthful. Cultural inclusion must be incorporated in coverage that is considered fair, balanced, accurate and truthful. To practice ethically, journalists must strive to cover stories that meet these standards. All sides and opinions must be explored when reporting on a topic, whether it is considered palatable or not. Reserve the content producer’s opinion for appropriate formats that allow them (editorials, personal blogs, first person articles) and alert audiences when you do. With the disruptions posed by technological and economic developments in media, it’s a challenge to keep sight of these critical journalistic standards that
contribute to compelling, credible, accurate news content while staying on top of the latest distribution software and balancing finances. But it must be done. We must find a way to address these seemingly competing interests, to teach students and teachers how to produce solid journalism regardless of the platform used for distribution. To ensure the profession practices its core value of public service. Otherwise, what does the news product have to offer? With too much emphasis on the business side, and not enough on media content, both will ultimately suffer. My last two pearls, more so than the previous ones, go to the heart of navigating a fulfilling life that encompasses career, character and relationships.
Learn from others. Whether best practices or mistakes, they can be informative. Use your journalistic skills and privileges to ask questions and become informed. Take advantage of educational opportunities at school as well as those made available to you as a journalist covering school boards, administrators, community leaders, city officials, etc.
Enjoy the journey. When covering stories, researching and interviewing sources can be as much fun as producing the report. Enjoy the process, rather than tending to the routine steps. This goes for every aspect of the matters in which you engage. Be open to new possibilities that weren’t envisioned when the story idea was hatched. Similarly, in life, let it unfold. When I began this journalistic journey more than 40 years ago as a high school student in St. Louis, my vision was set on newspaper reporting. Off to college I went with that goal in mind. Ten years after graduating from college and enjoying the coverage of court cases, school boards and the human condition, other options came into view. My career and life took routes I never imagined as a teenager – earning a doctorate, leading state and international scholastic journalism organizations, developing programs to teach journalism skills to youth, teaching at a major university. What a ride! So, to you Quill and Scroll members, take to heart as I have the advice of media icon Oprah Winfrey, which is printed on a poster in my office: “What God has intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.” I haven’t decided whether to take the huge framed poster with me when I move from the office. But I do know that I’m ready for the next chapter. How about you?
Blue and Gold Awards for yearbook excellence
Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists recognized 10 scholastic media staffs with the Blue and Gold Awards launched last year in conjunction with the organization’s 90th anniversary. These awards honor high school journalism programs that excelled in the 2016 Yearbook Excellence Contest.
Shawnee Mission North High School Overland Park, Kansas
Darlington School Rome, Georgia
Shawnee Mission North High School Overland Park, Kansas Davenport Central High School Davenport, Iowa McCallum High School Austin, Texas Shawnee Mission North High School Overland Park, Kansas
Haltom High School Haltom, Texas
Westlake High School Austin, Texas
Arrowhead Christian Academy Redlands, California Arrowhead Christian Academy Redlands, California Darlington School Rome, Georgia Richland R-1 School Essex, Missouri
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Calvary Day School Savannah, Georgia
Notre Dame De Sion High School Kansas City, Missouri
NFL star teams up with Quill and Scroll for good cause
Students at The Flash Quill and Scroll chapter at Fraser High School in Michigan, with Golden Tate and his fiancee Elise Pollard.
By BAILEY ZAPUTIL
Junior, University of Iowa
In a true demonstration of sportsmanship, Quill and Scroll student members from Fraser High School last fall teamed up with the Golden Future Foundation for a coat drive, which resulted in over 1,000 coats being donated to inner-city children and homeless veterans in the Detroit area. Fraser High School’s journalism staff is called The Flash, an award-winning program. Its members have won two scholarships from the Society within the last five years. The students’ relationship with the Golden Future Foundation began last year, when football player Golden Tate III stated on Twitter that he was looking for a video production crew to help him tape an event. Tate is a widereceiver for the Detroit Lions in the NFL. He and his fiancee, Elise Pollard, began the Golden Future Foundation in 2014 to advocate and help American veterans. Fraser’s superintendent, Dr. David
Richards, tweeted in response that Fraser’s journalism program would be a great choice. Out of respect, Quill and Scroll Adviser Jamie Flanagan commented on the tweet with a thank you, and from there Tate contacted him more about the event and the foundation. Following their contact, The Flash agreed to the event and covered the foundation’s 1st Annual Stars and Strikes Bowling event in 2015. This relationship led to the Golden Future Foundation requesting The Flash to help coordinate the second annual coat drive. Fraser’s Quill and Scroll chapter requires members to partake in at least 16 hours of community service in order to earn their honor cords. “The Flash’s mission is to connect with the community,” said Flanagan.’’ But judging from the reception of the community and the outcome of the event, the members went above and beyond such requirements. Since it was their first coat
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drive, Flanagan says he was hoping for around 500 coats. At Fraser, about 46 percent of students qualify for free and/or reduced lunch. “That means money is pretty tight for almost half our kids,” Flanagan said, “and they still find a way to help others.” At over 1,000 coats, their expectations were blown away. Quill and Scroll Chapter President Samantha Nork, a senior, said her favorite memory was when Golden Tate and the students were loading the truck with the seemingly endless bags of coats. “It made me stop and think about all the people we helped. We did something really good and it made us feel really good. Everything was a success, even though there were some challenges along the way,” she said. To start a charitable event, Nork says the key is to take time to plan and orga-
Start small, set simple goals, and celebrate the small successes along the way. Jamie Flanagan
nize, as nothing ever goes according to plan. She also emphasized the importance of spreading the word to get others involved. Flanagan agreed, saying it is a lot of work, but worth it. “Start small, set simple goals, and celebrate the small successes along the way,” he advised. Nork thanked everyone who donated coats. “You guys are the reason people in need have hope,” she said. “Thank you Golden Tate and Elise Pollard for letting us assist you guys with Stars and Strikes and the coat drive. Thank you to The Flash staff for being the most reliable group of people I have ever worked with. I love you guys.” And last, but not least, she said, “Thank you to Mr. Flanagan. You are the best adviser anyone could ask for.”
Top: Quill and Scroll Vice President Zoie Bills and other chapter members help load the more than 1,000 donated coats. Middle: Golden Tate helps load the truck with coats donated for needy children and homeless veterans. Bottom: Adviser Jamie Flanagan helped connect his students with Golden Future Foundation, co-founded by Golden Tate. Tate personalizes a bowling pin to The Flash signed by the Detroit Lions football team. Photos contributed by The Flash staff Photos provided by Jamie Flanagan.
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READING BUDDIES Quill and Scroll chapter gives back to community
By MARNI WAX
Junior, University of Iowa
Quill and Scroll chapter members at Park Vista High School in Lake Worth, Florida, meet with young reading buddies at the local library as a part of their efforts in reaching out to serve their community. Photos contributed by the Park Vista Quill and Scroll chapter. Just 30 minutes before the Quill and Scroll induction ceremony started, President Megan Klein was going to practice lighting the long, white, taper candle, in a pretty crystal holder. Suddenly, it became obvious she had never lit a match in her life. “She was terrified!” chapter sponsor Cynthia Glazier said. Next, other officers tried to light the symbolic candle and had the same result, until finally the treasurer succeeded, and it became a moment the students and Glazier would never forget. Such teamwork and determination were also exhibited throughout the journalistic activities of the eight new members inducted that night at Park Vista High School, Lake Worth, Florida They were nominated for their academic achievements and dedication, determination, and contributions as student journalists. A member of the school administration, several friends and family members attended the ceremony. Park Vista’s Quill of the inductees attended the ceremony Dec. 8, 2016, in the school’s media center/library. Chapter President Klein led the ceremony with a review of Quill and Scroll’s history, core values, and induction rituals.
Klein explained the significance of lighting the candle of truth that she grappled with earlier, and how it symbolizes the sincerity and journalistic ethics the Society represents, and the five qualifications each student must meet in order to become a member. Once the new inductees took the pledge to become honorable and trustworthy members of the Quill and Scroll Honor Society, adviser Glazier awarded the inductees their membership pins and certificates. Because the Park Vista Quill and Scroll chapter is exclusive, all of its members have strong, friendly relationships with one another and function as a team. They do several activities including meeting with “reading buddies” at the local library, monthly lunch meetings, community services, and chapter projects throughout the week. It is clear that Klein is extremely passionate about the Honor Society and takes pride in the work they do. “Inducting new members into Park Vista’s Quill and Scroll chapter made me feel quite proud and honorable. As president, I had many responsibilities and tasks to complete before our induction ceremony, but all the hard work and
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dedication turned out to be worth it,” Klein said. “The ceremony could not have gone any smoother, and everyone enjoyed cake and refreshments to celebrate their success and achievements. I am proud to call myself a member.” Other members, like Selena Ponton, share a positive outlook on the organization. “I love the exclusivity of Quill and Scroll because it makes me truly appreciate my accomplishments,” said Ponton. “At the induction, all of the inductees and officers make up a big family eating cake together and getting to know each other’s families, those genuine moments make the best photos.” Quill and Scroll has also greatly impacted sponsor Glazier’s life over the past three years through the community service projects performed and projects completed by the students. Quill and Scroll has been a chapter at Park Vista High School for the past nine years. “The most influential moment about being involved with Quill and Scroll is watching students I have known personally for 3-7 years mature and grow into amazing, generous, educated, independent young adults!” Glazier said.
Journalism education combats distorted truths
BY ANA ROSENTHAL 1st Vice President, CSPAA
There are not too many things the entire country sees eye-to-eye on when it comes to our new president. We don’t necessarily agree on his cabinet choices, we don’t necessarily agree on his governing style, and we don’t necessarily agree on his policies or ideologies. But the one thing that we can all agree on, President Donald Trump has managed to bring the entire country together in recognizing the concept of “fake news.” This trendy theory of fake news is also known as post-truth, alt-truth, alternative news, alternative facts, and out-right, to name a few. The concept has been used so widely that the Oxford Dictionaries declared “post-truth” the 2016 word of the year. Fake news is not a new notion, though — but social media, online blogs and amateur e-publications (built with online programs that help create and host professional looking websites) have enabled its quick circulation. An early December Pew Research Center survey revealed that approximately two-in-three adults in the U.S. believe that made-up news is having an impact in our society and that it creates confusion about current events. The same survey found that one-in-four Americans has shared a fake news story — either intentionally or not. People fabricate fake news in order to gain followers by distorting the truth while creating an environment of distrust with baseless facts — it is, in one word, propaganda. And while we know fake news is exactly that, fake and propaganda, and that it is misrepresenting reality, we are still fascinated by it and we continue to click, even on that link with the most ludicrous headline. So if we know the news story is absurd, why do we keep on clicking? We click because these stories amuse us. And when it comes to politics, we read and watch political satire as entertainment. “Satire is arguably the most prevalent variety of fake news and arguably the best studied. The mental processing of satire is unique compared to other types of information, because it requires audience par-
ticipation,” communications psychologist Dannagal Young said in a PBS interview last December. But fake news can be dangerous and is not always meant to entertain. According to Young’s research at the University of Delaware, these fake images stay embedded in our brains. “When you have exposure to fake news or satire, or any content at all, as soon as those constructs have been accessed and brought into working memory, they are there. You can’t un-think them.” The amount of stories on how to teach our students to discern between factual and fake news are crowding educational journals and newspapers. Stories that talk about the different types of fake news, and how to identify them, are delivered weekly into our inboxes. Information literacy classes are being established at many schools and universities. And in January, the California Legislature introduced a bill that required the state to introduce a new course on Civic Online Reasoning, geared to teach 7th to 12th graders to distinguish between real and fake news. And here is where journalism teachers, now more than ever, should feel good about the teaching we have been doing — we teach our students how to find relevant and credible information, conduct interviews, and write factual and unbiased news stories. So, this begs the question: Are journalism students better prepared than their non-journalism peers to discern between factual and fictional news? If we have been doing our jobs correctly, and our students have been practicing what we have been preaching all along, our high school journalists know that being inquisitive and doing the proper investigation to get to the facts is the only way to get to the bare essence of a story. I recently sat with my advanced journalism class to get their perspective on whether or not they felt they had an advantage over non-journalism students when it comes to recognizing fake news. They all nodded in unison. They didn’t even think twice about their synchronized nod. So how can they feel so certain about this? Because they read stories the same
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way that they write them — with an analytical perspective. “As news writers we are always trying to find the counter argument, the other side,” my editor-in-chief said during our conversation, “and that helps me broaden my perspective in understanding other people’s perspectives that don’t necessarily align with mine.” My copy editor chimed in, “As journalists we are being trained to view people from different perspectives because there is usually more to a story than you might see on the surface.” In other words, they are getting their news by reading multiple news sources, evaluating the information and making an educated analysis before they arrive to any conclusions — this is really nothing new to them — this is how they prepare when they write their own news stories, this is the way they have been taught to search for the facts. “It is important to get information from multiple sources,” my copy editor said. “I try to search other stories that would corroborate the facts to ensure that I am getting accurate news. And if it seems that it could possibly be not legitimate, I read it with a grain of salt in mind and know this could just be one side of the story, or an incomplete one.” Since I was on the subject of fake news and high school journalism with my students, I asked them how, if at all, their news writing has changed since President Trump took office. My managing editor, who is a gifted writer, said, “I am seeing stories more from the reader’s perspective now. Having the spotlight on journalists has really helped me develop myself as a writer because I am focusing a lot more on getting every single perspective — I’m [more conscientious of] getting all sides to the story.” Regardless of the state of the media, the entire country will probably never come to an agreement when it comes to President Trump. But the amount of learning our student journalists are acquiring due to this phenomenon is something we all can agree on.
CAPTURING REAL STORIES
Recognizing fake news in student publications BY CANDACE PERKINS BOWEN
Director, Center for Scholastic Journalism, Professor at Kent State University, Ohio With all the talk about fake news surrounding the 2016 Presidential election and its aftermath, it’s probably time to ask ourselves, “How REAL is the news in today’s student media?” Is what scholastic media outlets produce still aimed at informing audiences, keeping their “government” accountable, ensuring facts are, indeed, factual by checking and double checking, and dealing with unanswered questions, all in an ethical way? That’s real news. First, let’s be sure we all define fake news the same way. According to The Guardian, “Strictly speaking, fake news is completely made up and designed to deceive readers to maximize traffic and profit.” Click-bait that teases readers to ads or promotional stories doesn’t seem to be an issue in student media. But humor sites, too, are often lumped into the same category as fake news. Some of the content sounds plausible as it covers politics and current events. The Onion is well-known for this, even though the line under its name is “America’s Finest News Source.” Yet few people believe a photo there really shows (White House chief strategist) “Steve Bannon’s Inflamed Liver Pulsing Visibly Through Shirt During Strategy Meeting.” Other less well-known sites may also be obvious – or not. Clickhole has even confused and upset celebrities who thought they were being misquoted in that website’s “They said WHAT?” feature. Then the joke was on them – those quotes are indeed made up. The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report, with the subhead “Not the news,” reported “Trump enraged as Mexican president meets with Meryl Streep instead.” Do they cease to be purely entertainment when the audience starts to believe them? Students may not think they are writing fake news for their media, but they may have some of these issues. The first simi-
larity that comes to mind are April Fools’ Day issues or satirical pieces about the cafeteria food. Even though these might be a tradition at some schools, their potential to confuse or mislead the audience should make a publication think twice before including them. Well-written satire, the kind students study in English class, pokes fun with humor and should be obviously exaggerated or false. Jonathan Swift didn’t expect his “modest proposal…” to convince the rich to start eating poor Irish children. Nor does The Onion think readers believe U.S. cabinet members argued so loudly about the Iran nuclear deal at a Mar-aLago dinner table that the waiter had to ask them to move to the lobby. How often do some readers mistake The Onion’s humorous exaggeration for fact – and rant about a completely false story on Facebook? Even if some readers do, The Onion’s editors can laugh it off – their purpose isn’t to present straight news so they aren’t worried about losing their audience’s trust. But the student journalists who spend the first seven months of the year getting readers to take them seriously run a big risk with just one misconstrued fake news story. The most important thing they can lose is their credibility – and that one silly story poking fun at the administration might be enough to do it. Other kinds of “fake” news can just be sloppy reporting and failure to provide context. Reporting how much the new AstroTurf on the football field cost could be a good story, but would the audience be better served if the article included where that money came from? If the school’s operating budget paid for it, were there other items the school couldn’t buy because of that? Who made the decision and what were the criteria? Or, approaching it from another angle, how does that cost compare with other
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options for football fields? What is the advantage of AstroTurf compared to sod? Plenty of additional questions would help tell the REAL story. Students often – sadly, too often – run into another roadblock to real news: censorship by school administrators. When the principal has prior review and sees a story he thinks makes the school look bad, reporters are told not to report it – or at least not to report it in “that negative way.” Eventually, student media don’t even try to cover stories that tell it like it is. They self-censor because the alternative doesn’t even seem like an option anymore. Such school practices are just the beginning. They have contributed to the overall lack of civically engaged citizens, the kind who know and value good journalism. Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte said in a recent Medium.com article, “This is where the devaluation of news as a civic good originates – with ‘news’ that is purposely skewed to deceive and mislead.” And he concluded from that: “Censored news is fake news.” If student journalists can tell the stories that need to be told, their readers and the eventual audience for commercial media isn’t going to know or care what they are missing. Back to the original question: Is student media news real or fake? Each student journalist, each media outlet, must answer that question. If student-produced news contains distorted facts, through lazy reporting or attempts to avoid censorship, if it lacks context, if its only purpose is entertainment, then the product contributes to the growing problem of fake news in this country.
DO IT YOURSELF
Gaining press freedom rights through reporting
By ROXANN ELLIOTT
Publications Fellow, Student Press Law Center If you want something done right, do it yourself. For students in Colorado, that means taking ownership of news in their community even when it is controversial, emotionally distressing or likely to upset powerful government officials. A recent documentary film – available online to show in the classroom – documents how Colorado students won their press-freedom rights and how they’ve successfully used those rights to break big stories. In 1990, the Centennial State passed a student free expression law in response to the 1988 Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court decision. The state law provides explicit protection for student journalists to exercise their First Amendment rights. On the 25th anniversary of the law’s passing in 2015, the University of Colorado-Boulder produced a documentary focusing on the extraordinary work done by high school journalists in that time. The film, “Taking the Lede,” focuses on a breadth of sensitive stories. It includes segments highlighting how student journalists stepped with professionalism and maturity to cover school shootings, LGBT rights and other delicate topics. First, it features students in Jefferson County walking out of class to protest their school board. In 2014, a newly restructured board was proposing changes to the history curriculum to promote a more patriotic view of America’s role in the world. Critics saw this as an attempt to introduce conservative political bias into the classroom. Standley Lake High School journalists, led by Co-Editor-In-Chief Chaye Gutierrez, were on top of the story, attending tedious, bureaucratic board meetings to bring the news to the students in Jefferson County. As a result, students at more than a dozen schools within the district marched out of class to protest the changes. Using Twitter and Storify, students scooped the local media on covering the protests, which went on to gain national attention. The professional media often failed to interview students, and inaccurately explained the cause of the protests. Gutierrez and her team of journalists set the record straight. Students have also engaged in intriguing investigative reporting. In 2005, David McSwane, then a high school journalist
at Arvada West High School, was writing about school dances and penning editorials when he decided to tackle a serious news story. With military recruiters highly visible on his campus, McSwane observed that some of his classmates were enlisting even though they hadn’t graduated or curtailed their recreational drug use. Armed with a hunch, a clunky tape recorder and techniques he’d garnered from journalists in movies, McSwane met with an Army recruiter and pretended to be a habitually stoned dropout. By his own admission, he looked every inch the part. Instead of rejecting McSwane for what should have been obvious defects, the recruiter showed McSwane how to forge a diploma from a fake school and took him to a drug paraphernalia shop to purchase a urine masking kit. McSwane was careful to get as much of this on audio and video as possible, enlisting his foster brother’s help, and ultimately wrote a story for his high school paper that got picked up by a local FOX affiliate and, soon after, national outlets. His work resulted in a Peabody Award and an appearance on “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” where the host likened the teen to Watergate reporting legends Woodward and Bernstein. McSwane, at the time, had never heard of either. In response, the Pentagon initiated a one-day freeze on recruitment to assess their practices. Today, McSwane is an investigative reporter in the Austin bureau of the Dallas Morning News. Sometimes, students are forced to engage with topics far beyond their years. Students on the yearbook and newspaper staff at Arapahoe High School were faced with the unthinkable, a school shooting. When a classmate brought a gun to school, intending to shoot his debate coach, he killed a fellow student instead. The students came together to decide how to address the tragedy and honor the victim – while simultaneously approaching the agonizing discussion around the shooter. This was a classmate, someone they knew. Together, they enabled one another to parse through conflicting feelings. The documentary’s final segment spotlights a journalist who wrote about the lives
of gay and lesbian students at a Colorado Springs high school, in the backyard of influential Christian fundamentalist organizations that disapprove of homosexuality. Her 1993 profile story sparked a massive protest from parents demanding the school punish her and exercise greater control over the newspaper. A subsequent school board meeting attracted nearly 600 people. Fortunately, the author had the full support of her administration, and a knowledgeable community member spoke up at the meeting to point out that censorship, including prior restraint, would be illegal under Colorado law. “Taking the Lede” illuminates the quality of work produced by students who’ve been granted the awesome responsibility of a free and independent press. In its making, the team purposely highlighted the three duties of journalism – to act as a watchdog, to hold a mirror up to society, and to foster a healthy marketplace of ideas by elevating marginalized voices. The common thread in each of these stories is the support and involvement of educators. These students were not alone in their reporting. Nearly to the person, these young journalists admit they had no intention of causing trouble or stirring up controversy. Young people are capable of responsible, incisive, and nuanced work. When their parents and teachers display an implicit belief in their abilities, and make clear their willingness to back them up, these students can turn formulaic coverage into impactful journalism. In viewing “Taking the Lede,” students and educators alike can recognize examples of the three pillars of journalism in their own work. Even journalism that is not “investigative” can spark community dialogue and make a lasting impact. Advisers and teachers can empower students, both by developing their investigative instincts and by identifying opportunities to deepen their work in whichever topic they choose. The newsroom is an ecosystem – the watchdog, the mirror, and the marketplace are all necessary for a flourishing journalism environment. The documentary can be viewed, in its entirety, at cunewscorps.com.
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(See related story on page 3.)
RETIRING THE RED PEN
A farewell to the book reviews of Barbara Bealor Hines BY BARBARA BEALOR HINES
Howard University, Professor Emerita, Mass Communication and Media Studies
Little did I know in 1964 when I became a member of Quill and Scroll, the international high school journalism honor society, that it would forge a connection to scholastic journalism that would last more than 50 years. My press ID as editor of the Bladensburg (Md.) High School Scroll opened many doors. Quill and Scroll served as my encouragement to continue working with student publications in college. At both San Antonio College and the University of Texas, I had the good fortune to study under journalism and adviser legends, Edith Fox King and DeWitt C. Reddick, while also working as an editor at The Ranger and The Daily Texan. King encouraged my interest in the business side of journalism; Reddick cemented my love of editing and writing. In fact, when Dr. Reddick wrote his book, Mass Media and the School Newspaper (Wadsworth, 1975 & 1980), he sent me the draft and said, “get your red pen out.” Post-college, as adviser to the Parkdale (Md.) Collage, the Quill and Scroll Honor Society was an everyday presence in my class/ newsroom. Students eagerly awaited publication evaluations and their results in writing competitions and read the magazine to see the work of their peers across the globe. As a student activity, it was important to do service projects in school and the community. Through my work at the University of Maryland and with the Maryland Scholastic Press
Advisers, I often spoke at Quill and Scroll awards programs at area schools. In fact, at one I would meet an enthusiastic journalist to-be whose award-winning career would include becoming Washington Bureau chief (and an editor) of The New York Times. My first writing for Quill and Scroll magazine was a column, “CSPAA Notes,” that ran from 1978-1982. As president of the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association, I had the opportunity to share with readers the activities of that association. In the circle of scholastic journalism, collegiality among scholastic press associations was paramount. It wasn’t until December 1990/January 1991, however, when I did my first Quill and Scroll review of scholastic journalism-related books that “red pen syndrome” was back. In 2004, an opening became available to write the column, “The Newest Books in Journalism.” The past 13 years as editor of the column has exposed me to a multitude of titles. While technology has changed, there’s still a lot of satisfaction being able to hold a book in your hands. It’s more than just the content: it’s the design, it’s also the selection of paper, art and cover choice. Each book fills a particular niche for someone. I’ve tried to share that feeling with my graduate students at Howard University and to encourage them to write reviews as an optional assign-
ment for one of their classes. Writing this column has given me a chance to have an eye on all those things that make up our history: politics, economics, culture, education and more. I’ve read books by colleagues who have become friends; I’ve read books by people whose profile has risen (or diminished). But in addition to the books and media that provide the content for the column, it’s been interesting to be a part of the culture of the stories that surround the column about scholastic journalism. During that time, I’ve watched as publications programs have both thrived and disappeared. I’ve worked with student journalists across the globe. Yes, there are still school districts that find it necessary to eliminate journalism programs when there’s the least bit of controversy or there are challenges to the finances. But there are programs world-wide that have better prepared students for their lives as citizens of a community because of scholastic journalism. Kudos to the colleges and universities (like the University of Iowa) that continue to provide the leadership for scholastic journalism. These institutions have also had to make hard decisions about the support they can provide for scholastic journalism. But back to the books of those times.
There were books that alerted us to and helped us adapt to technology: The Missouri Group (Telling the Story” The Convergence of Print, Broadcast and Online Media), Kathleen Woodruff (Math Tools for Journalists), Gary Vaynerchuk (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World), Kathleen Hansen and Nora Paul (Behind the Message: Information Strategies for Communicators) and Jerod Foster (The Photographer’s Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures).
There were books that helped us better understand our history: Frederic Hill and Stephens Broening (The Life of Kings: The Baltimore Sun and the Golden age of the American Newspaper), Wil Haygood (Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America), Hillary Rodham Clinton (Hard Choices), Maggie Rivas-Rodriquez, Juliana Torres, Melissa DiPiero-D’Sa and Lindsay Fitzpatrick (A Legacy Greater Than Words: Stories of U.S. Latinos and Latinas of the World War II Generation), Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff (The Race Beat: The Press, The Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation) and Tom Brokaw (The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America) and June Nicholson, Pamela Creedon, Wanda Lloyd and Pamela Johnson (The Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press).
There were books that helped us prepare for media careers: Mark Briggs (Entrepreneurial Journalism), Arlene Morgan, Alice Pifer and Keith Woods (The Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity), Joshua Waldman (Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies), Steve and Emilie Davis (Think Like an Editor: 50 Strategies for the Print and Digital World), William Richter (Radio: A Complete Guide to the Industry) and David Sumer and Shirrel Rhoades (Magazines: A Complete Guide to the Industry).
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There were books that helped us prepare for college: Robert Neuman (Are You Ready for College?), Lynn O’Shaughnessy (The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price), Lauren Pope (Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools You Should Know About Even if You’re Not a Straight-A Student) and Edward Fiske and Bruce Hammond (What to Do When Preparing for College).
And there were books that opened the window into someone’s life: Anne Garrels (Naked in Baghdad), Soledad O’Brien (The Next Big Story: My Journey Through the Land of Possibilities), Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World), Laura Colby (Road to Power: How GM’s Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling) and John Quinones (What Would You Do? Words of Wisdom about Doing the Right Thing).
And yes, I have some favorite books– the kind you keep referring to or sharing with others: AP Stylebook:
Looking for the best way to keep your copy fresh? Clean? This arbiter of style has served journalists when they needed it most. And as things change in the Stylebook, those changes become news.
All the President’s Men:
When Woodward and Bernstein brought down a president, they also brought a new generation of people to work in the news business. It also made for compelling film.
The Best of News Design:
This publication of the Society for News Design showcases the winners in its annual contest. Now in its 36th edition, what better way to see a distinct collection of news presentation globally? (For transparency: I served as copy editor for several editions of this publication).
The Elements of Style:
Getting it Wrong:
Considered one of the most influential books about writing (Time magazine, 2011), it’s a gem.
A bit of sociology and history, mixed with journalism makes W. Joseph Campbell’s book compelling. It also challenges writers to better understand the possibility of media-driven myths.
We the Media:
Dan Gillmor’s book about grassroots journalism (By the people and for the people) helps readers understand how bloggers are changing the way news is handled.
Aim for the Heart: Write, Shoot, Report and Produce for TV and Multimedia:
Al Tompkins continues to keep things focused, particularly in the electronic world.
Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide and Investigative Reporter’s Handbook:
Anything by Brant Houston, the guru of data-based and investigative reporting, is important reading.
So there you have it. I’m retiring my red pen. If you’ve regularly followed this column, thank you. If you’re seeing it for the first time, hopefully there are some titles that will intrigue you. To Quill and Scroll, my thank you is for more than letting me share great books with your readers. Thank you for the role you played in my life and career.
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PHOTOGRAPHY AND TECHNOLOGY ADVICE Master the craft, embrace the change Melissa Lyttle, president of the National Press Photographers Association, is an independent visual journalist based in California, who specializes in documentary projects, editorial, travel and portrait photography. Her clients include The New York Times, ESPN.com, USA Today, Mashable and Rolling Stone magazine. Her work has been recognized by UNICEF, the Casey Medals for Meritorious Journalism, POYi, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, the Southern Short Course, and the Alexia Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Florida. She is an alumna of the Eddie Adams Workshop and has been on the faculty for the workshop 14 times. I asked Melissa to talk about how photography is being affected by advances in technology.
Melissa Lyttle is president of the National Press Photographers Association.
More photography used in the media is being taken with smartphones. What are a few tips for getting professional-level photos with a smartphone?
I’d like to think a lot of the tips are the same as with a “real” camera. Study what makes a photo good. For me it’s moment, light, composition and mood. Capture one of those and it’s bound to be a decent image, two and it’s probably pretty darn good, three… great. And if you can get them all and make me feel something, it’s a winner. That’s what we strive for every time. Make people care, educate and inform them, and do it all through visuals. The same is true for smartphone photography. It definitely helps though if you know how to use the camera in your smartphone before that moment happens. Learn how little things like exposure work on a smartphone. Play around at home. Take a lot of pictures. Make a lot of mistakes. That’s how you learn.
What are guidelines for a photographer who plans to use their photos in a publication or online? I’m asking this in part because it’s so easy now to take photos with a smartphone that your photo subject(s) might not realize they’ve been photographed.
If you’re going to use an image in a publication or online, the image needs to be fair (ethically sound) and it needs to be good (quality wise). If something happens in a public setting, where anyone can see and document the moment, it’s fair game to photograph. If it happens in a private space, there are laws protecting the individual, so that’s when it helps to have permission and gain access. The latter all happens through creating trust. If you want to use something in a commercial realm though (think: advertising), a model release is a must. And, thankfully, there are now apps for that (Easy Release, on the iPhone).
BY JULIE E. DODD
Professor Emerita, University of Florida
I always enjoy it when I see a really striking photo and see that it’s your photo. That happened when you had the cover photo of The New York Times Travel Section of a roller coaster ride at Busch Gardens in Tampa. I asked you how you took one of the roller coaster photos, and you said with a GoPro. What are a few tips for how photographers can best use a GoPro?
Thanks, that was actually my first time using a GoPro. I was given one and a chest harness to wear, after talking to the PR person at Busch Gardens about how I could take a camera on the ride. Luckily, they do that all the time and offered to lend me theirs. It was all trial by fire on that assignment. I did just shoot my first 360-video piece for the NYTimes though, and with that, they sent me the cameras in advance and then it was a week of playing with it, learning the technology and trying to master it before the actual assignment. I’m still a pretty good student, so when I’m researching new camera gear, I read a lot of blogs and look at a lot of images to see what works and more importantly what doesn’t. The Internet is amazing for that. I’m sure if you Googled YouTube and GoPro tutorial, there’d be a million different how-to videos.
How have your skills changed due to technology advances with photography?
They’re constantly evolving, that’s for sure. You’ve got to learn to master the craft and embrace the change. The craft won’t change much. A good image is a good image. It’s all about moment, light and composition. But how you get to that point may change. Technology has made image quality better, image delivery faster, and image making easier (you can see the back of the camera, you know immediately if something worked or not!). Ultimately though, it’s still about making good work that people care about. Because what I care about is how an image makes me feel and how I connect with it. I don’t care what it was shot on or how it was made (those things are just tools). I care about how someone responds to it.
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What advice would you give to high school students interested in a career in photography regarding learning to shoot and edit video?
My advice for students wanting to become photographers is simple: Study the past, but create your own future. Learn about the history of photography, ethics in journalism, media law, and be inspired by the work of those who’ve come before you, as well as your contemporaries. Figure out why you like an image. But then be interested in other things. It’s all those outside interests that are going to inform the images you make. It’s the ideas that are going to separate and carry your work. The worst thing in the world is to see a talented young photographer with no passion and no interests outside of photography. With regards to learning to shoot and edit video, if a moving image is what moves you and it’s the medium you gravitate toward, learn your gear, study the greats, and put in the hours now (read: Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule). And the same holds true with what I said earlier about learning. Take risks. Make mistakes. Play. The obvious answer is that technology is going to continue to evolve, and get faster, smaller and more interesting. Embrace change. If not, it’ll leave you in the dust.
As president of the National Press Photographers Association, what do you see as the major challenges photographers and NPPA are dealing with?
Staff photographer jobs are becoming fewer (I was a staffer for 15 years and got forced into taking a buyout). Freelance photographers are constantly battling poor contracts (work for hire!) and low rates. And there’s a supply and demand thing happening as well — more photographers fighting for limited opportunities and resources. As far as the NPPA goes, aside from the declining membership numbers which is reflective of the industry as a whole, the biggest issues we’re facing come through our advocacy efforts. Our attorneys have been incredibly busy this year with continuing to advocate for things like drone legislation and introducing bills supporting a Copyright Small Claims Tribunal. Our attorneys also have been training law enforcement regarding the First Amendment right to photograph and record in public (an example is working with both the Cleveland and Philadelphia police departments prior to the political conventions). NPPA is really trying to reshape the way we think of ourselves as an organization, and that means making sure membership benefits reflect a new model of independent visual journalists. We’ve rolled out things recently like equipment insurance and telemedicine plans specifically with freelancers in mind.
When you were in high school, were you on the staff of the newspaper or yearbook?
I believe I was on the high school newspaper staff for one semester. It certainly wasn’t anything I took seriously, and nothing I thought would become my career. It was just a fun elective, though I do remember how exciting it was learning that carrying a camera allowed access into someone else’s life, got you onto the sidelines of a big game, or backstage at a school play.
Top: What gear does Melissa Lyttle carry for international work? Her ThinkTank Airport International v2.0 roller bag includes two Nikon D810 cameras and lens, Nikon flash and a universal power adapter, memory cards, Polaroid Zink, extra camera batteries, Bose in-earnoise canceling headphones, laptop, first aid kit, Moleskine notebooks and her passport. (The tennis ball is for massaging a sore back.) Middle: Melissa Lyttle spent five weeks in Mexico, on two separate US-Mexico border reporting fellowships from the International Women’s Media Foundation. She took this photo of Mexican teenagers on their BMX bikes in front of the wall in downtown Nogales. Bottom: Wearing a GoPro in a chest harness, Melissa Lyttle provided New York Times readers with a view of being high atop the Busch Gardens Cheetah Run in Orlando.
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MASTERING THE CRAFT
Left: Dozens of umpires gave Melissa Lyttle their best “Strike One” calls. She took the photos at the Wendelstedt Umpire School in Daytona Beach, Florida. Top: From a Weeki Wachee mermaid performing in a show for tourists to a demolition derby to an alligator hunt to this parade in Pahokee, Melissa Lyttle has captured a wide range of views in her My Florida series that is one of many projects posted on her website. Bottom: Melissa Lyttle and Lane DeGregory spent six months documenting the story of Danielle, as she became part of a “forever family” after having been neglected and abused for seven years. The veteran police detective who found her considered her to be the worst case of abuse he’d ever seen. The story received more response than any story published during the 124-year history of The St. Petersburg Times, now Tampa Bay Times. DeGregory’s story won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing.
Find out more about Melissa Lyttle: Twitter: @melissalyttle Instagram: instagram.com/melissalyttle Website: melissalyttle.com Blog: thelifeofm.com
To learn about the National Press Photographers Association:
Twitter: @NPPA Website: nppa.org Facebook: facebook.com/NPPA.Visual.Journalists Vimeo: vimeo.com/visualjournalism
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THERE’S SAND IN MY SHORTS AND I DON’T CARE
Students reflect on leadership positions By MARK NEWTON
Past President 2011-2017 Journalism Education Association Even though you’re probably reading this on a cool summer morning on your back porch with coffee, or on vacation near a bubbling stream with snow-capped mountains barely holding back the rising sun in the distance, or under an umbrella on the beach with crashing waves sending cool ocean water closer and closer, or…OK, stop!…I am writing this in the midst of late winter — come on spring! — deadlines. It’s really not the ocean waves crashing down, it’s the urgency of spring yearbook deadlines and spring break and a spring trip to a national convention and spring state contest deadlines and quarter grades and unit planning and grading and…OK, stop! It’s easy to forget the cool ocean breezes and the incredible sunrises and sunsets when one constantly has to deal with the sand-in-theswimsuit-give-me-attention-right-now issues like those late-winter and early-spring deadlines. As adults, we all have the benefit of time and a wealth of experiences to help us navigate the treacherous, slippery path from the parking lot to the beach. Granted, sometimes that expertise and wisdom does little to mitigate the stress. But, given our calm patience, proven systems, strong skills and deep beliefs, we not only survive, but often thrive. It is quite remarkable to me how many of us actually thrive during late winter and early spring as journalism teachers and media advisers. I am often reminded just how amazing my j-colleagues are when I speak with them or see social media posts of late-nights and convention trips and professional development days and contest entries and project assessments and letters of recommendation and…OK, stop! For our students, particularly our editors, and even more so our senior leaders, though, I must be honest when I say I am concerned. I see the stress, the sleepless nights, the short tempers and the slacking of quality work. Indeed, it is concerning and, indeed, it adds to the list of issues we, at the very least, need to be aware of and, at the extreme, address as soon as we feel it in our swimsuits. That said, it is even more important to realize that even though there is sand in our shorts, we are fortunate beyond belief to work with the most amazing students — and people — in the school. It’s easy to be irritated by the sand and not see the beauty of the beach and the glistening of the ocean and the good words in the book and coolness of the drink and…OK, stop!
Media staff leaders receive invaluable skills through their involvement. These editors shared their insights and experiences at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, with adviser Mark Newton. Photo by Caitlin English.
With that in mind, I asked my editors at Mountain Vista High School in Colorado — in the middle of all that deadline stress and in the final days before spring break and on a day I was out of class interviewing potential English teachers for two teaching positions in my department and…OK, stop! — to, indeed stop, take in the stillness of the moment and reflect on the goodness of being engaged in what we do and why we do it. This is what they said (unedited).
Gabe Barnard, junior, editor two semesters: I am an editor because I believe in the importance and ability of journalism to tell the truth and make sure people are aware of what is happening around the world. Journalists have the power to tell stories that bring light to issues that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, and by doing so they are able to make a difference in the world. The work that journalists do holds powerful organizations, people, and the government in check and is necessary to ensure that freedom is maintained in a free country. Accurate storytelling and leadership empowers people to exercise and defend their rights as well as seek out the truth in their own communities.
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Conner Davis, senior, editor, five semesters: I would love nothing more than to spend my life engaging in journalism. I think it’s a pivotal role in a democracy and is completely necessary to hold people accountable. I first joined a journalism class because I thought it sounded fun, but I quickly learned that it was more than just a good time. Journalism is for telling stories, for making sure the public knows the truth and for regulating power in a free nation.
Leah Deminski, senior, editor, one semester: I am an editor because I love to tell stories and teach others how to appreciate them as well. There is a story behind everything, you just have to have the confidence to ask questions and the know-how to ask them well. There is nothing I value more than communication and accountability, which is the core of our work here in journalism, and no activity I have ever done before has instilled such qualities of leadership within me.
Continued on page 18...
THERE’S SAND IN MY SHORTS AND I DON’T CARE Savanah Howard, junior, editor, three semesters:
Mikayla Olave, junior, editor, two Gannon Rushall, senior, editor, semesters: four semesters:
I became an editor because writing and photography are what I love to do. By being a journalist I can not only passionately do my job, but I can also make a bigger impact on the world. I’ve always been searching for a way to leave my mark on the world, to make it a better place, and I can do this with my camera and pencil in hand. Being an editor allows me to gather leadership experience under my belt. Journalism empowers our youth, it shows each and every one of us that we have a voice and we can make an impact. I chose to be an editor because I wanted to show everyone around me that it’s okay to stand up for what you believe in, it’s all right to speak up and it’s important to uncover the injustices of the world. Journalism is the lifeblood of our society, and I intend to be a part of it.
I am an editor because I believe in the importance of journalism around the world and that people need to be informed. The world is constantly changing and evolving, so it is the responsibility of a journalist to make sure people are getting the truth. Mountain Vista Media allows students to have a voice, and start to make a difference in the community. Journalism and media are the voice of the people. The importance of this program is people need to understand the empowerment of media. Everyone we work with has a different perspective, and can contribute differently to make a positive contribution.
Haley Kolseth, junior, editor, two semesters: I am an editor because I value people’s stories and since I value these stories I want to ensure that they’re shared in a way I’m proud of. I want to be in control of my education and have a voice in the decisions that immediately affect me. There are close to 50 people in our program, and each and every one of them is talented and passionate and good at what they do, and their work deserves to be appreciated. Journalism is currently being masked by the ugliness of political journalism, which is necessary to uphold the righteousness of the government, however, it doesn’t account for all of it. Journalism is a place where people can share stories from around the world, whether through pictures or stories or cartoons.
Lexi Weingardt, senior, editor, five semesters: I am an editor because I believe in the importance of our work and our ability to tell stories and make people aware of what is happening in our community. This world would not function without journalists keeping people informed and acting as a watchdog to make sure people know the truth. I also think it is amazing that journalists are able to tell stories through writing, photos, graphic design and so many other outlets. Mountain Vista Media is unique in that we include all these different outlets into one comprehensive program, which allows us to try a lot of different things. Aside from everything aforementioned, one of the reasons I love being an editor so much is because I love interacting with our staff and helping them learn and grow.
Staci Prevato, senior, editor, four semesters: The reason I am an editor is because I love what I learn in this class. It has the greatest real-world application. Every day I learn something new, whether it’s communicating with the staff or finding a solution to a problem with an impending deadline, and I know I can use these skills in every aspect of my life. I love taking photos, writing stories, and creating a legacy for a school I love being a part of. I have met some of the most amazing, intelligent, creative people through journalism. Because of journalism, I am more aware, understanding and empathetic towards the people and world around me.
David Robinson, senior, editor, one semester: I am an editor for MV Media because I want to help others. Our program is complex and, speaking as a former staffer, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with deadlines, comply with A.P. style, navigate Yearbook Avenue, stay on top of Trello and GroupMe, and publish weekly content. I took on an editor’s position because I wanted to use my expertise for the benefit of others and not just myself. By answering questions, editing content, reminding staffers of deadlines and expectations, and helping them with anything they need, I am making more of an impact than I would be if I declined the position. There is a quote from Albert Einstein that I live my life by: “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” That is why I am an editor.
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I am an editor because I have a passion for making videos. Being able to combine something that I love with journalism by telling the stories of people and bringing this passion into the community. I also lead by example. I create these videos and show them to the broadcast program, and then I show them how to create this type of content. I’m also glad that I have the opportunity to take this passion to the next level and study it in college.
Austin Sack, senior, editor, four semesters: I am an editor because journalism is my calling. Taking Journalism I my freshman year was the best decision I have ever made. I signed up for the class originally because I thought it sounded fun, but by the end of the semester I had learned the importance of journalism has on society. I took the opportunity to join Mountain Vista Media my sophomore year and was able to move to an editor by my junior year and continue to grow throughout the rest of my high school career. Being a journalist allows me to be something greater than myself. Without journalism and all the opportunities I have learned through MVM, I truly believe I would not be who I am today. I am grateful to be in such an advanced program that allows me to experiment with different forms of journalism and that allows me to grow in a leadership position. Journalism gave me a voice, and I plan to speak up and be heard in anything I do.
Lauren Lippert, junior, editor, three semesters: I am an editor because writing is my passion and I enjoy sharing that with people. I love writing about the hard stories, the easy stories, and everything in between. Being an editor also entitles me to step up as a leader, a role model and challenge myself in ways I can’t do in other classes. Journalism is the future and, through being a part of the program, allows me to be a part of that future. Those students get it. They understand. They make me proud — so, so proud. After reading those keen, compassionate, compelling responses, all the sand in the world can get in my shorts. I am not going to let one grain of sand take away that beautiful, beautiful, beautiful view. And, no, I am not going to stop.
YEARBOOK EXCELLENCE 2016 SWEEPSTAKES WINNERS
THEME DEVELOPMENT Matt Casler Boone HS – A Orlando, FL
ADVERTISING R’Asya Philbert Osbourn HS – A Monassas, VA
GRAPHIC DESIGN Natalie Lawton Davenport Central HS – A Davenport, IA
Cassidy Brown Arrowhead Christian Academy – B Redlands, CA
Tyler Dai Darlington School – B Rome, GA
Susan Wang Arrowhead Christian Academy – B Redlands, CA
SPORTS ACTION PHOTO Morgan Latham Shawnee Mission North HS – A Overland Park, KS
PHOTO ILLUSTRATION Taelor Wyatt Davenport Central HS – A Davenport, IA
Drew Hickson Richland R-1 HS – B Essex, MO
Kendall Criswell St. Clair County HS – B Odenville, AL
ACADEMIC PHOTO Hannah Ilan McCallum HS – A Austin, TX
INDEX Linley Murdock Texas HS – A Texarkana, TX
Jeri Anne Mares Tucumcari HS – B Tucumcari, NM
Susan Wang Arrowhead Christian Academy – B Redlands, CA
STUDENT LIFE PHOTO Maggy Crawford Blue Valley HS – A Overland Park, KS
HEADLINE WRITING AND DESIGN Kayla Starnes Haltom HS – A Haltom City, TX
Bridget Gillespie Arrowhead Christian Academy – B Redlands, CA
Allly Chase Calvary Day School – B Savannah, GA
CLUBS/ORGANIZATIONS PHOTO Mackensay Yazel Shawnee Mission North HS – A Overland Park, KS
CAPTION WRITING Audrey Sutter Westlake HS – A Austin, TX
Emily Blunt Richland R-1 HS – B Essex, MO
Madelyn Bomar Christ Presbyterian Academy – B Nashville, TN
FEATURE PHOTO Kristal Saikho Haltom HS – A Haltom City, TX
PERSONALITY PROFILES Lily Painter Westlake HS – A Austin, TX
Chris Schold Minnehaha Academy- B Minneapolis, MN
Cassidy Brown Arrowhead Christian Academy – B Redlands, CA
STUDENT LIFE Isabella Ramirez Shawnee Mission North HS – A Overland Park, KS Jalisa Kassam Darlington School – B Rome, GA ACADEMICS Ashley Spann Bryant HS – A Bryant, AR Jazmin Santillan Sedona Red Rock HS – B Sedona, AZ CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS Megan Garland James Martin HS – A Arlington, TX Christine Hysell Arrowhead Christian Academy – B Redlands, CA SPORTS Kylie Cameron Shawnee Mission Northwest HS – A Overland Park, KS Emma Holland Notre Dame de Sion HS – B Kansas City, MO PEOPLE Danielle Robinson Haltom HS – A Haltom City, TX Abigail Smith Darlington School – B Rome, GA
FOR FULL RESULTS AND MORE INFORMATION VISIT: 19 • Quill & Scroll • Spring 2017 HTTP://QUILLANDSCROLL.ORG/CONTESTS/YEARBOOK-EXCELLENCE-CONTEST
QUILL & SCROLL Official Magazine of the International Honorary Society for High School Journalists 100 Adler Journalism Bldg., Room E346 Iowa City, IA 52242-2004
HSJI HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM INSTITUTE
ADVISER OPPORTUNITIES July 10-14, July 16-20
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STUDENT SKILLS WORKSHOPS ur
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orre spon tt ou a dent Er nie Pyle will greet y
Fr of s r oo td ron f e h
July 10-14, July 14-16, July 16-20
CONVERGED NEWSROOMS July 16-20
Go online to mediaschool.indiana.edu/hsji to get more information, including how to register.
20 • Quill & Scroll • Spring 2017