Quill & Scroll Fall 2015
PUTTING GLAM IN INDUCTION
GLOBAL INTERNSHIP 1 • Quill & Scroll • Fall 2015 INTERESTS
COPYRIGHT FAIR USES
DOW JONES NEWS FUND
TEACHER OF THE YEAR 2015
MITCH EDEN Teacher of the Year
“I believe the two most important things you can tell your students are ‘I trust you’ and ‘I believe in you.’ ”
2015 National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year Mitch Eden, Kirkwood (Mo.) H.S. Distinguished Advisers:
Sandra Coyer, Puyallup (Wash.) H.S. Rachel Rauch, Homestead H.S., Mequon, Wis. Amanda Thorpe, Portage (Mich.) Community H.S. Mitch Ziegler, Redondo Union H.S., Redondo Beach, Calif.
Special Recognition Advisers:
Terry Cassreino, St. Joseph Catholic School, Madison, Miss. Alena Cybart-Persenaire, Kennedy H.S., Waterbury, Conn. Thomas Kaup, Auburn (Wash.) H.S. Leland Mallett, Legacy H.S., Mansfield, Texas
Visit dowjonesnewsfund.org for more information. Thank You To Our Sponsors: 2 • Quill & Scroll • Fall 2015
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IN THIS ISSUE
ol Journalis o h c
Korean Journalism Students Jai Yeon Lee Journalism Resources Available Megan Schumacher
Editor and Business Manager Vanessa Shelton
Putting Glam in Induction Bailey Zaputil
Executive Director, Quill and Scroll Society
Cover to Cover: Book Reviews Barbara Bealor Hines
Candace Perkins Bowen
Julie E. Dodd
Yes You Can
Diversity in Journalism
To Inspire and Lead
About The Cover
“RE-RE-REBOUND” by Parker Miller of Richland R-1 School, Essex, Missouri, won the 2015 Writing and Photo Contest Sports Photography Sweepstakes Award. The dedicated Richland staff is featured in this issue on pages 6-7. More information on the 2016 Writing and Photo Contest and Blogging Competition, and how to order a sampling of the winning entries and their evaluations in a CD Powerpoint., are available on the Quill and Scroll website at quillandscroll. org/contests/writing-photocontest.
Frank D. LoMonte Stan Zoller
Junior, University of Iowa
Staff Contributor Bailey Zaputil
Sophomore, University of Iowa
Contributing Editors Julie E. Dodd
Professor, College of Journalism and Mass Communication The University of Florida, Gainesville
Bruce E. Konkle
Professor, College of Journalism University of South Carolina, Columbia
Barbara Bealor Hines
Professor Emeritus, Mass Communication and Media Studies, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Quill and Scroll 100 Adler Journalism Building Magazine of Quill and Scroll International Iowa City, IA 52242 3 • Quill & Scroll • Fall 2015 Honorary Society for High School Journalists firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 90 - Issue 1
KOREAN JOURNALISM STUDENTS High school students learn journalism skills in English
By JAI YEON LEE
Senior, University of Iowa
o one ever said that journalism was easy. Journalism students learn how to collect, edit, and disseminate news they report. Using several types of news media, many high school students interested in journalism try to be effective disseminators of facts through the written and spoken word. However, what if it is done in a language that is not the student’s mother language - in a second language? That’s what many Korean international and foreign high school students do: producing news programs, interviewing people, or reporting news in English. Yoon Kyung Lee, a senior psychology major at the University of Iowa, was once the Puil Foreign High School’s English magazine editor. She recalled memories of her high school years working in a magazine club called, MOTI (Magazine of Teenagers in Puil). “Each member who wanted to join our club had to take a writing exam and interview so that we could estimate their proficiency of English, especially in speaking and writing. We had to report news with tight deadlines, so it was essential to make sure every staff member could comfortably communicate and report in English,” Lee said. “Not just being proficient … but keeping the ability was important, so every member of the club regularly wrote English essays or shared their pitch stories and gave feedback to each other.” Leaders had the privilege of writing their stories for the front page of magazines, and Lee was one of them. As one of the most proficient English speakers, she was asked to be editor by the instructor in charge of the MOTI. That’s when Lee started to gain great experiences publishing magazines. “I wasn’t necessarily interested in journalism, but psychology, in the beginning. I cannot deny that my desire to master English helped me join this English-based club. Above all, my experiences with MOTI remain as precious memories in my high school life,” Lee said.
A year before graduation, she covered TUNZA (To Treat with Care or Affection) International Youth Conference, which was held by UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) in Daejeon, a city located in the center of South Korea. Through this opportunity, Lee met participants including politicians, celebrities, volunteers, and staff, and interviewed them for the most special article she wrote in her high school years. The article was her required project for graduation. The magazine covered various issues mainly about education, military service, and controversial topics. Since they were high school students, however, many addressed topics such as college admission tests that obviously grabbed their young audience’s attention. According to Lee, magazine copies increased, as demand got higher because students were more interested in reading the publication. Nowadays, not only magazine clubs with editing or reporting departments, but media broadcasting clubs have been created, which are different from already existing broadcasting clubs. The original broadcasting clubs merely provided information related to issues happening in school. The newer media broadcasting clubs mainly do news briefings in English. Other journalism-related clubs also exist, such as issues discussion and public relations clubs. Typically, many Korean high schools have more flexible broadcasting programs or publications than colleges. “Our broadcasting club did not separate staff as producers, writers, reporters or so,” Jung Han Yoon, who was the first chief of the broadcasting club called Vox Humana at Goyang International High School, said. “It was totally dependent on each member’s willingness to be any position as long as he or she can help produce fresh and fair news ideas.” Yoon is now majoring in journalism and working in the media broadcasting department at Ehwa Women University in Seoul. Yaerim Nam, a subsequent chief of Vox Humana, produced interesting radio programs Mondays through Thursdays. For
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instance, on Mondays, the program called “Hot News! Dream Information” introduced potential jobs to listeners, and on Tuesdays, “Vox Sport” produced sports news. Wednesdays, GBS (Goyang Broadcasting Service) conveyed attention-grabbing, human-interest news happening in school. A popular program from the beginning, it is still alive and loved by many students. When Yoon was in charge, the program “Cold-hearted Wednesday” reported student or faculty conflicts or injustices in school. It has since been replaced on Wednesdays by the program “Hidden Track,” which introduces hidden songs that not many people know since they weren’t popular at the time of release. In addition to producing programs, Vox Humana is also in charge of installing microphones, hosting events, and technology. Vox Humana takes on event rehearsals, photography and videography. Each club member at times joins a video-production contest such as a UCC (User Created Contents) contest. One such production was created Sept 5, 2014, to enhance the relationship and communication between instructors and students. At the end of the video, a touching message to victims, bystanders, and the public was included in response to the South Korea Sewol Ferry disaster, which happened on April 16, 2014. “Most of the members in our club want to be announcers, reporters, programs creators, or script writers for television shows,” Nam said. “We always want to be more professional and challenge ourselves to do various activities in high school. Hence, we will do our best to produce better and accurate quality of contents in given conditions.” Even as native non-English speakers, English doesn’t seem to be an obstacle large enough to stop them from achieving their dream. These journalism students know their dream will become reality as long as they do not stop.
JOURNALISM RESOURCES AVAILABLE ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative offers a host of scholastic journalism and media literacy resources
By MEGAN SCHUMACHER
Senior Information Specialist ASNE Youth Journalism Initative
Kevin Allen, a journalism teacher at Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, Louisiana, gives a talk about mobile video journalism at the Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, held July 19-25 at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Allen, a previous institute participant, developed an eight-lesson curriculum on the subject, which can be accessed at http://goo.gl/Ya06LV. The mobile video project was developed in collaboration with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism. Photo courtesy of ASNE Youth Journalism Initiative.
The American Society of News Editor’s Youth Journalism Initiative offers several resources for secondaryschool journalism teachers and their students at SchoolJournalism.org, including hundreds of lesson plans, workshop listings and college and career information. Students also can become involved with the initiative as members of its Student Advisory Board. The initiative, launched in 2000, is committed to helping students learn why news matters and acquire the skills needed to succeed as 21st-century citizens. The initiative invests in the future of journalism and democracy by providing resources and training in youth journalism; news, information and media literacy; and the First Amendment and civic education. “It is so rewarding to work with teachers from across the country,” said Le Anne Wiseman, the initiative’s director. “Journalism teachers are doing important work in preparing students to be knowledgeable and responsible citizens, and through the initiative, we offer a lot of great resources that can help them in their classrooms.” As a supporter of news literacy education, the initiative offers materi-
als and resources to teach news and media literacy. A recently released model news literacy curriculum for social studies, language arts, science and math helps students acquire critical-thinking skills for analyzing and judging the reliability of news and information in everyday problem-solving and real-life experiences while learning required concepts of core academic disciplines. Each lesson aligns with Common Core State Standards and a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 License allows teachers to adapt the lessons for educational purposes. The project was developed in partnership with the Journalism Education Association and funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Institute, another initiative program, came to a close in 2015, but the pre- and post-institute online curriculum is still available at SchoolJournalism.org for anyone who wants to use it in their classroom or for professional development. More than 2,400 advisers were trained during the summer at the intensive journalism workshops held at sites across the country since its inception in 2001. The initiative also has a Student Ad-
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visory Board that helps young people to learn, connect and be heard, and offers them educational opportunities and interaction with journalism professionals through a closed Facebook group. All students are welcome to apply and may join at any time. The 2014-2015 members also participated in Twitter chats with guest moderators. The 2013-14 members participated in a press call with officials at the White House regarding the First Lady’s visit to China. Members also had the opportunity to be panelists in a live chat about journalism ethics during an online screening of the documentary “A Fragile Trust,” hosted by PBS. “The Student Advisory Board is a great way for student journalists to connect and share tips and advice with one another,” said Megan Schumacher, the initiative’s senior information specialist. Publication of Quill and Scroll’s Principal’s Guide to Scholastic Journalism was sponsored by the initiative. The publication provides invaluable guidance to school principals and administrators working with student media organizations. A companion website is available at: www.principalsguide.org.
PUTTING GLAM IN INDUCTION
Richland R-1 School students, such as Parker Miller, have access to cameras and other equipment purchased with a $104,000 grant. Photo by Kyle Carter. Middle: Richland journalism adviser Kyle Carter participates in the program’s Red Carpet Event. Photo by Paul Mullin for Richland School. Right: Journalism student dedication is exemplified by Katie Pinkley, who photographed a basketball game immediately after being crowned Homecoming Queen. Photo by Kyle Carter.
By BAILEY ZAPUTIL
ssex, Missouri, is a small town of less than 500 people. So when the yearbook staff of Richland R-1 School rolled out a red carpet there, accompanied by a limousine and Richland Rebel backdrop to pose for photos, these students understood they were accomplishing big things. With a Red Carpet Event, the Rebel Yellers staff celebrated their first Quill and Scroll induction ceremony and achievements, including over 20 state and national awards for photography. Five students were inducted into Quill and Scroll in a candlelight ceremony on Aug. 15. Kyle Carter, the Rebel Yeller’s adviser, said the students had fun with the induction, a reward of sorts for their hard work and an incentive for the coming years. “Now they better understand what journalistic ethics are a little bit more. They understand that they are held to a higher standard, and that when there’s work to be done, it’s got to be done,” Carter said. Besides the induction, the Red Carpet Event featured the work the students published in the yearbook. Using about 20 of the school’s History Day display boards, they posted over 300 photos published in the yearbook. At each one of the displays, an award was featured on the table. One student, Parker Miller, was interviewed for the local broadcast station, KFVS12. On a staff of 14, seven students received 21 national and international awards for photos, including several for Quill and Scroll. Two of these students, Miller and Katie Pinkley, earned top honors and Gold Keys
Sophomore, University of Iowa in Quill and Scroll’s 2015 Writing and Photo Contest in Sports Photography. Miller’s photo “Re-Re-Rebound” took Sweepstakes, and Pinkley received a National Award for her photo “Grayson For Two.” As a senior, Miller is eligible to apply for Quill and Scroll scholarships this year, and Pinkley, a junior, will be able to apply next year. Preceding Nickol Tilley as editor-in-chief this year, Miller was also one of 10 students selected for the Missouri Journalism Education Association (MJEA) All-State Journalism Team. It is a one-time only award, with the purpose of the MJEA to recognize students “who have proven themselves to be indispensable to their respective school media.” Additionally, Miller won awards from Jostens, MJEA photography competitions, and Ball State University’s High School J-Day Contests. At Ball State, Pinkley received a Superior and Excellent ranking for her sports photos, and an Honorable Mention for her news photo. Pinkley says she was surprised about the Quill and Scroll induction. “It was pretty awesome, we didn’t even know it was going to happen, actually. [Carter] said he had a few surprises. And we were all kind of scared, because that’s never good when it comes to Carter. So we showed up, and we knew about Quill and Scroll because he said that we were going to try to get inducted into it, but that it wasn’t very likely,” Pinkley said. “Because, I mean, we’ve never done it before and it’s pretty prestigious. And then he pulled it out at the ceremony, and we were all really surprised.”
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But more than the awards, it was a celebration of the staff’s hard work. Carter said as much as they love the awards, that’s not why they do it. “It’s more about learning their craft, honing their skills, and realizing that one day they’re going to be out on their own and are going to do it on their own, and being prepared for it.” Though Carter has been at Richland for only three years, his impact on the journalism program is tremendous. Last year, he received a $104,000 grant through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to buy camera equipment, computers and software to enhance the publications program. The Missouri Journalism Education Association named him the winner of the Rising Star Award, a prestigious honor from the state’s largest journalism association. Carter has experience in both business and journalism, working for several years for financial firms, and 15 as a freelance photographer. He now runs the school’s business program, which publishes the yearbook. The admission process to the upper-class course is competitive, as Carter requires students to submit an application and conduct an interview before they are considered for acceptance into the publishing class. Carter considers this experience invaluable, as students learn business functions before they are in the class, all of which contribute to the yearbook. Students are expected to learn how to run software programs such as InDesign, Excel and Photoshop. They learn how to take photographs,
A candlelighting Quill and Scroll induction ceremony came as a surprise in the Richland R-1 School Red Carpet Event. For more photos from Richland’s awards night, check out: quillandscroll.org. Photo by Melissa Miles for Richland School.
design pages, sell ads and interview. By emphasizing the business aspect of creating a yearbook, the Rebel Yeller continues to thrive in a time when many publications are downsized or discontinued. For example, last year in advertisement revenue alone, they were able to pay for the majority of the yearbook printing expenses. This year, their goal is to completely pay for the yearbook with ad sales. The staff gets involved in journalism in other ways, too. The school does not have its own football team, but the staff is asked to take football photos for other schools on a regular basis, and teach those schools how to shoot sports photos. Nor do they have their own periodical, but the local newspaper editor knows the staff members not just by name but by their skill, and requests their assistance accordingly. Carter says that the communication and honesty he builds between students is one of the reasons why the program has been so successful. “I treat them like adults,” Carter said. “I really do believe that’s how they want to be treated, whether they’re a freshman, or they’re a senior, that’s the level of expectation I give. They work on a real world level.” A large part of why Carter wanted his students to be inducted into Quill and Scroll was to give them an opportunity to be held up to an honor society’s standards and be credited for it, something he personally nev-
er had the opportunity to do when he was in high school. That lack of credentials resulted in him losing a top editor position in college, though he had more professional experience, because the other candidate was in an honorary society. “When we got to know Quill and Scroll and got to know what Quill and Scroll stands for, it’s something I wanted my kids to have a part of,” Carter said. “I wanted them to understand exactly what it means, not only to be a member, but to be able to walk in and interview with someone and tell them ‘yes, I’m part of that society. [On] those standards that they hold people to, I hold myself to those standards.’” Yet, above all of their achievements, Carter’s largest impact has been on the students themselves. Pinkley said that she learned a lot, from business practices to using a camera to life. When she won Homecoming Queen last year, all she wanted to do was take pictures, though Carter initially wanted her to enjoy her court status. “At halftime she came up to me and said, ‘I want a camera, I want to shoot.’ I said, ‘No, you’re Homecoming Queen, you have to kiss babies and shake hands.’ She said, ‘No, it’s ingrained in me. That’s part of who I am, I can’t be at a basketball game without a camera. You’re going to have to let me shoot,’” Carter said. “So, sure enough, she’s in high heels, she’s in a cocktail dress, has a jacket on and her tiara, and she has a Canon 1DX
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and a 7200 2A shooting baskets. That’s actually the night she took the photo that won the National Award.” “It’s been a crazy rollercoaster ride that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Pinkley said. “Because I probably wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for him.” Parker Miller nominated Carter for the MJEA Rising Star Award. Emily Blunt, who won the Quill and Scroll Middle School Photography Contest for her photo “Time in Motion” has been learning under Carter well before high school. The impact Carter’s students have had on him is just as profound. The father of two (whose daughter, Kylee, in first-grade is already following in her father’s love of photography) said that for the most part, his students have become part of his family as well. “I treat them like I treat my own kids. There are times when they get a little out of line, and we have to have a discussion about getting back in line, but for the most part, they’re a part of what I do. “They’re part of the reason I show up every day. The reason I come to work is so that I can work with them. I want them to be as prepared as they can when I leave here,” he said. Anticipating their performance for the coming years, Pinkley said, “Be looking out for us because we’re going to be doing a lot more stuff.”
How journalism experience influenced life By BARBARA IRVIN
I think every educational curriculum should include a Journalism program. There is nothing more interesting than learning about the work that goes into putting together a newspaper and what it takes to be a good reporter. Acquiring such skills can foster a lifelong appreciation for nonfiction writing, as well as give students the necessary tools to succeed as writers after finishing high school. This is how it was for me during my sophomore year of high school, when I chose journalism as one of my elective courses. I was absolutely thrilled at the chance to learn about the ins and outs of reporting and contribute to the school newspaper, The Paw Print. The idea of actually being a part of something large made me feel like a leader. Not only did I want to ferret out the best stories I could dig up, but I wanted to inspire students who had never considered writing before to open their minds to it. As I set out to do research, conduct interviews with students and teachers, and glean as much interesting material as I could
possibly find, I began learning things about the business of covering news stories. One of the things I learned was that you have to act like a true professional at all times. If an editor assigns a certain story to you, it is your job to take that story and write it to the best of your ability. There were times when an article I wrote had to go through several revisions before it was ready to be turned in. When this happened, I became bored with the project after a while. However, I knew I had to stick with it, for the sake of my readers and the editor. One day when my teacher was going over an article I had written, he made a comment that perhaps I should give some thought to quitting the paper and concentrating on fiction writing instead, as it would provide a more creative outlet for me. As much as I wanted to explore my artistic side and see where my imagination could take me, I knew I must remain dedicated. Ever since I was a kid, I’d dreamed of seeing my name in print. I certainly was not going to allow a difference in opinion to dissuade
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me from my decision. Thanks to him, I became even more determined to succeed as I faced more challenges. My tenure at The Paw Print lasted for an entire semester, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Each week, I had a new assignment. The publication was distributed in print and was available online. Working with computers and the Internet allowed me to upload stories directly to the website the school used for maintaining the electronic format of the paper. My choice to abandon writing for the paper was due to my wish to pursue other interests. However, I never lost my passion for journalism. I think it takes a special person to put his or her personal feelings aside and admit the truth. When we write about others and what is going on around us, we learn more about ourselves. News is everywhere, and it is up to us as reporters to go out and seek stories that matter to the public. If we can do that, we have done our job correctly.
Quill and Scroll Alumnus Look: My journalism life By DAVID BELCHER Mt. Vernon Lifestyles Editor, Morning Sentinel, Mt. Vernon, Ill. I was a nerd as a kid. I was a library regular reading books and newspapers. There was something almost magical about 5:30 p.m. when Walter Cronkite came on television to give a report of the day’s events. A fascination with current events combined with a flair for writing made a career in journalism an intriguing possibility. As a high school senior I took a journalism class. I fell in love with newspapers. I never considered another career. My journalism teacher’s advice is as true now as it was 36 years ago, “work at it.” An aspiring reporter could not ask for better counsel. In her class I learned the basics of the profession — who, what, where, when and why combined with solid writing, grammar and spelling. Above all else, get the facts straight. A reporter’s credibility is everything. You also have to have a little self-confidence. Our high school assistant principal came to our classroom for a press conference. Frankly, I did not have the confidence to ask him a question. In 1993, a furious competition was under
way among Illinois communities for a new supermax prison. The community I worked in at the time was one of the finalists. ThenIllinois Gov. Jim Edgar awarded it to another community. Word was Edgar gave it to the community because it was close to his wife’s hometown. He was at a Lincoln Day Dinner and I asked him if that were true. Edgar was shrewd enough to realize I was not the only person who wondered that point, I was just the only one in a position to ask him to his face. Rather than being offended at what some would have seen as a cheap shot at his wife, he saw an opportunity to set the record straight. He proceeded to patiently explain the process of how he made his decision. I learned in high school you are read. I wrote an editorial in favor of raising the Illinois drinking age from 19 to 21. The Illinois Baptist editor got a copy of it and put it in the General Assembly official record. I learned of the Quill and Scroll Current Events Test shortly before I took it. I got an 81. Not only was it by far the highest in my class; I found out a few weeks later it was one of the best in the nation. I had already decided to pursue a journalism career. The test result and the Gold Key that I received reinforced a decision I had already made. One reason the Gold Key was special for me is unlike sports, those of us who are
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“journalism jocks” and “political geeks” did not have many avenues to be honored. I think some of my peers got a new respect for me. That has been 36 years ago. I went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and political science from Illinois State University and have been a full-time reporter for 32 years. I am currently the Mt. Vernon Lifestyles Editor of the Morning Sentinel in Mt. Vernon, Ill. I could not guess how many stories I have written. I have talked to people ranging in “status” from a vice president of the United States to people in homeless shelters. Would I recommend journalism to others? If you want to know what’s going on — maybe a little just plain nosy — like to write, take pictures and are willing to work hard with long hours, journalism might be worth considering. I learned the business on manual typewriters. Today I, like most people, have become dependent on computers. Things like email, faxes, the Internet, digital cameras and cell phones were beyond my imagination in my high school days. They are all standard tools for reporters today. However, the basics have not changed. I hope they never do. “Work at it” and get the facts straight.
COVER TO COVER BOOK REVIEWS BY BARBARA BEALOR HINES
Howard University, Professor Emeritus, Mass Communication and Media Studies A new semester means a new staff, new assignments and new challenges. How does a leader motivate the staff? Featured in this issue are books written by and about people who have been responsible for making change. There just might be some tips found in these titles to help ramp up staff performance.
AND THE GOOD NEWS IS... LESSONS AND ADVICE FROM THE BRIGHT SIDE
DANA PERINO | HACHETTE BOOK GROUP. 2015. Dana Perino will not dispute that America is the land of opportunity. From her early days in Evanston, Wyoming, to high school and college in Colorado and Illinois, Perino worked on her family farm, was a country music DJ, and ends up working for a U.S. president. She writes about those experiences with humility and grace. “You would never have picked me out of a crowd and said, ‘She’ll be the White House press secretary one day,’” Perino writes. She went from sitting on a barnyard fence to flying on Marine One with the President of the United States after his last visit with the Navy Seals. Perino shows how political life may seem fascinating, yet underscores the challenges. She avoids the negativity that many writers embrace, opting to use the lessons she learned in her early years to keep her level headed and even tempered as she faced adversity. Sharing many personal experiences working with President George W. Bush, she also provides a clear look into what goes on behind the scenes at the White House. Her debates with colleagues on Fox News are included in the book, as well as down-to-earth advice to young professionals about their job searches.
ROAD TO POWER: HOW GM’S MARY BARRA SHATTERED THE GLASS CEILING
MOVE YOUR BUS: AN EXTRAORDINARY NEW APPROACH TO ACCELERATING SUCCESS IN WORK AND LIFE
LAURA COLBY | BLOOMBERG PRESS/WILEY. 2015.
RON CLARK | SIMON AND SHUSTER/TOUCHSTONE. 2015.
Wondering how to make change? Mary Barra became the chief executive officer of General Motors in 2014 after a lifetime at the company – rising from her first job at GM’s Pontiac division at age 18 to the top spot at age 52. She was the first female to lead a global automaker. In Road to Power, readers learn how, as the daughter of a GM die maker, Barra earned an electrical engineering degree and became a co-op student where she learned about the auto industry along the way. She was the first person to volunteer to take on diverse assignments, from working on the factory floor to overseeing manufacturing, to working with human resources and more. Barra’s challenge in her first year as CEO was the crisis over GM’s failure to recall some of its cars for more than a decade. During this period, she was regularly called to testify before Congress, having to explain and defend her industry, but also looking for solutions for change. Business reporter Laura Colby writes how Barra’s decisions, ranging from where to have meetings to what messages to send to employees, became her trademark as a leader. She explains how Barra connects and motivates employees, how she learned from a management-training program, and the various lessons Barra learned at each stage in her professional career that helped propel her to the top. Although this book is about the automobile industry, it is much more. It is a book about how to make smart decisions, form alliances and maintain the right attitude to help “drive” one’s career.
Want to learn some tips from Oprah’s “Phenomenal Man?” Ron Clark is first a teacher, then a leader who has transformed his experiences into best-selling books used to strengthen teamwork in business and education. Clark has categorized individuals (the members of a team or staff) and situated them on a bus with the ability to help or hinder the team’s forward movement. There’s the “driver” who is trying to steer everyone forward, joined by the “runners,” who go above and beyond for the organization. There are the “joggers” who get the job done but don’t push themselves, and the “walkers”, who are just getting pulled along. Finally, there are the “riders,” who pick up their feet but slow down the enterprise – hindering a team’s success. Think about the members of your staff(s). Clark’s book gives you examples of how to best work with them in various situations. He reminds leaders about the life experiences each person brings to the projects. He talks about shaping each individual’s potential to assist the team. Clark, who was Disney’s “American Teacher of the Year” in 2000, runs the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta and has experienced performers at all levels. Based on his suggestions, working to success becomes more strategic. Move Your Bus is available in audio, eBook and paperback.
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WHAT WOULD YOU DO? WORDS OF WISDOM ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING
JOHN QUINONES | KINGSWELL. 2014. Looking for ways to help your staff make the right choices? ABC News’ John Quiñones is ready to help. Using his book, What Would You Do? Words of Wisdom About Doing the Right Thing, combined with viewing segments from his popular show, can help. Quiñones, who grew up in San Antonio, Texas, had to make many choices while covering stories in war-torn nations and interviewing dictators, among others. He traces his grounded core to his mother, Maria (Mama Q), and growing up poor and Latino. Although a fifth
generation San Antonian, he did not learn English until he started school at age six. He knew in high school he wanted to pursue a career in journalism and participated in an Upward Bound program at St. Mary’s University that helped to prepare him for college work. The book focuses on the “what would you do” moments people have every day. They can be as simple as considering whether or not to hold the door open for a stranger or they can be as complicated as deciding the next move when faced with discrimination or
mistreatment of another person. The co-anchor of “Primetime” was ABC News’ first Latino correspondent. He is the sole anchor of “What Would You Do?” and is trying to help people achieve their goals by showing them personal examples and anecdotes of how people step in or step aside. Looking for a way to get that new staff talking? Show one of the episodes of “What Would You Do?” and discuss the decisions people made. Episodes can be found on YouTube, along with a discussion guide.
Helping your staff develop their skills? Here are two helpful resources – one for photography and one for storytelling: YOUR PHOTOS STINK! DAVID BUSCH’S THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT LESSONS IN ELEVATING YOUR PEACE PHOTOGRAPHY FROM AWFUL TO AWESOME
David B. Busch & Rob Sheppard | CENGAGE
JEFF HOBBS | SCRIBNER. 2015.
Author David Busch has more than 2 million books in print and is the world’s best-selling camera guide author with more than 100 guidebooks for Nikon, Canon, Sony, Olympus, Pentax and Panasonic cameras. He can be a valuable addition to your staff with his book, Your Photos Stink! Rob Sheppard is editor-atlarge for Outdoor Photographer and a wellknown speaker and workshop leader. Together they have fashioned eight chapters, each providing side-by-side examples of flawed/fixed images, along with clear instructions on how the repairs were made. Covering techniques of composition, exposure, post-processing and more, Busch teaches the reader to see the most common problems that trouble photographers and how to correct them. For that first-time photo editor, or the seasoned photojournalist – this is the way to learn to shoot and improve visual stories. He covers nature, people, action and travel photography, and much more in his book. With a chapter on special shots and postprocessing, Busch provides the advanced “tweaking” to make photos jump off the pages. The suggestions may be as simple as shifting the camera a few inches, adjusting the exposure just a bit, or making a simple lighting change. Attractive and readable, the book should become part of your staff’s library. An eBook is also available.
This is a story all journalism students should read. While it represents a situation that is not unique in today’s society, it offers a wonderful lesson in storytelling. It is based on the story of two friends, college roommates, who never really get to know each other’s lives. Jeff Hobbs comes from a privileged background and arrives at Yale to room with Robert Peace, who comes from the crimeridden streets of Newark, the son of a convicted murderer. Peace studied molecular biochemistry and biophysics and earned a biology degree. Despite his mother’s sacrifices and his extraordinary intellect, Peace became a drug dealer and was eventually shot to death. Hobbs, who lived this story, offers incredible detail and insight about his roommate, a young man who would be a pillar of his family and community, yet lived a double life on the Ivy League campus and in Newark’s slums. He paints a portrait while providing the narrative for a powerful and heartbreaking story. He shows how important quotes and observations are in providing credibility and in shaping a story. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace is also available for download with iBooks on the Mac or an iOS device or from iTunes on a computer.
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Valuable training interpreted by students worldwide BY CANDACE PERKINS BOWEN Professor, Kent State University, on sabbatical Fall semester taught journalism at Anglo-American University in Prague
Students around the globe share an interest in learning through internships. At Anglo-American University, Prague, exchange students Connor Nunes and Remington Bruce search for internships. Right: Assel Biyeva of Kazakhstan and Kristina Zakurdaeva of the Czech Republic realize skills translate into employment opportunities. Photo courtesy of Candace Perkins Bowen.
hen it comes to a college education in a journalism or communications field, whether you live in the U.S. or halfway around the world in the Czech Republic, some things are the same. That became clear when students from Anglo-American University (AAU) in Prague agreed to talk about their experiences and plans for the future. Some were Czech, one was from Kazakhstan and two were exchange students from a school in Orange County, California. But all were concerned about internships and where these might lead and what they could gather from their college activities. Connor Nunes is spending 2015-2016 in Prague because it’s giving him “a world perspective, instead of the one-sided California, U.S. perspective.” An international marketing major, he says he particularly enjoys his internship. While admitting he doesn’t speak Czech, which can be “very interesting in the office sometimes,” he is getting to work for an international firm that develops, among other things, parks and recreation areas. He’s hoping to create a “viral YouTube video” and has been helping the company get more “likes” on Facebook and more visibility in other social media. “I also contact ambassadors and NGOs
from places like Poland, Germany and Austria” to get them to speak at events for the company, he said. His fellow exchange student, Remington Bruce, who had his internship in the U.S., says the ones in Prague appear to allow students to actually do more important things. “It’s not just coffee runs and having the company’s name on your resume,” he said. Kristina Zakurdaeva from the Czech Republic agreed her internship was valuable. The current editor of AAU’s newsmagazine and website worked for Radio Free Europe (RFE) and said she was “treated like a colleague, and not some intern to make coffee and copies.” She was able to write some interviews and is now an employee of RFE, working and going to school. Katerina Glacnerova, also from the Czech Republic, interned for Czech Leaders magazine, an English-language publication produced in Prague and “a bit like Forbes.” She translated interviews as part of her internship. Politics major Michael Kabat thinks his internship can be a bit different. He runs his own consulting firm with some friends and said AAU “would let that count.” He said the journalism he is taking – particularly the class in the impact of opinion-writing – would be useful because “politicians need to know
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how to persuade the media.” (Groans from the journalism students in the room…) Pavel Pauza, a non-traditional student who has been “a writer for years,” also said AAU is “being generous with me” and allowing some of his past work to apply to his degree instead of an internship. “I don’t really need that piece of paper,” he said, referring to a diploma, though he said he is enjoying the change of pace his classes afford. “I’m even taking classical poetry,” he said, noting that this is giving him a chance to do a different kind of thinking and writing. Assel Biyeva of Kazakhstan admits she is not going to be a journalist because she has “no talent” for that, even though she graduates in February and will have some sort of internship in January 2016. But she has gained many skills, including the ability to “communicate with people and how to ask the right questions.” She is convinced this will help her get a job she likes. Nunes thinks he is gaining so much from the experience in Prague, he plans to return to Chapman University, complete his degree and then enroll in AAU for his master’s degree. Others echoed his view of a required internship: “I was scared I wouldn’t be any good, but I have been, and it’s given me much more confidence.”
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TECHNOLOGY TALKS BY JULIE E. DODD
Professor, College of Journalism and Communications University of Florida An important publication experience for communications students at the University of Florida is working for The Independent Florida Alligator. Alligator alumni are on media staffs throughout the country – from The Miami Herald to The Fresno Bee to MSNBC.com to The New York Times to ESPN.com and include Diane McFarlin, a former Alligator editor, Sarasota Herald-Tribune publisher and now dean of the UF College of Journalism and Communications. The Alligator, with a staff of 17 and dozens of contributing writers and stringers, has a print circulation of 23,000 and is published five days a week during the regular academic year and on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the summer term. I asked Alligator editors (and my former students) Alyssa Fisher (Editor) and Jordan McPherson (Managing Editor and Online Editor) to talk about their work at The Alligator and how they view its print and digital components.
How did you get started in journalism and what was the process that led to your current position with The Alligator, starting with your high school media experience. AF: In 7th grade, I opted to take yearbook merely because I enjoyed writing. I had such a great time that joining the staff in high school (Cooper City High School, Cooper City, Florida) seemed like a no-brainer. Before the end of the first semester of freshman year, my intro to journalism teacher, Thomas Grozan, made a proposition: He would place me in the newspaper course, and if I didn’t like it, he would quickly move me to yearbook. Within a week, however, I was hooked. I went from entertainment editor sophomore year to editor in chief both junior and senior year. As graduation neared, all I could think about was joining the The Alligator staff. It’s surreal to be where I am now. JM: My journalism career started as a sophomore in high school (Santaluces High School, West Palm Beach, Florida) when I decided to take my school’s newspaper class. I didn’t know a thing about journal-
Managing Editor/Online Editor Jordan McPherson and Editor Alyssa Fisher in the courtyard in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. They began working together at The Alligator during Spring semester 2014 when Fisher was university editor and McPherson was sports editor. McPherson was editor during Summer semester 2015. Photo provided by Julie E. Dodd.
ism or newspapers. All I knew was Mrs. Alex Clifton, my freshman-year English teacher — my favorite teacher from that year — taught the class and I wanted to spend another year learning from her. Little did I know sports journalism would my dream profession. I spent three years at the paper, working my way up to editor-in-chief my senior year, before coming to UF. I was hired as a sports writer at The Alligator my first semester on campus. Two years later, I’m now working as the managing/online editor.
AF: I’m an old soul: I love picking up the paper every day. However, like most people today, I do get most of my news online. We do our best to place every day’s news in the paper, but sometimes there’s so much that it’s not possible. We don’t necessarily feel limited by print, but it’s great to know we can still put them online. Our print stories are put online every night, and later sharing them on social media creates more awareness and change within the community. There is also unlimited space, and it’s ideal for breaking news.
bread and butter. It’s the focal point of our paper, the basis for which our newsroom runs every day. Our online version of the paper expands on what we put in print and brings it to life. Photo galleries, videos, infographics and stories that couldn’t fit in print add an extra dimension to our website that we can put on paper. Our staff is responsible for producing content for both print and online.
AF: We think about print first and foremost. The staff’s daily work and my own is geared toward print. Jordan takes the day’s stories and adds them to our website, and then the next day we’re all responsible for sharing them and promoting online readership. This is an important part of the job, as we’re able to reach nonlocal readers (and those who simply don’t read newspapers).
Describe the print and Explain how you coorthe online versions of dinate your work and The Alligator? How are the staff’s work on the they similar, how different? print and online versions of The Alligator. JM: The print version of our paper is our
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Editor Alyssa Fisher talks with staff during a budget meeting. Because The Alligator is an independent news organization, the offices are located off campus – about a 10-minute walk from the UF campus. Photo provided by Julie E. Dodd.
JM: Like Alyssa said, our print edition has been and more than likely always will be our first priority. It’s our main product that showcases the hard work we put in five nights a week. However, while our staff members have a print-oriented thought process, we always encourage them to think about ways to make it stand out on the website as well. This usually comes in the form of some sort of visual, whether that’s grabbing an extra photo or incorporating video or creating a chart or map.
gram (@TheAlligator_) and will be on Snapchat and Periscope in the near future! AF: Social media is very important. We’re a legitimate news outlet with real stories to share, so we can’t be bound by print. The staff is encouraged to share stories to spread the news. We also use social media to gather news, connect to readers and provide live event updates. Our audience can depend on our tweets for senate meetings, press conferences and breaking news. We don’t need to wait to run important news in the next day’s paper — we can get it out immediately.
The Alligator is on Twitter, Facebook, and has an app (Independent What advice do you Florida Alligator availhave for high school able on iTunes). How does media staffs that are trysocial media contribute to The ing to have both print Alligator, and how do you man- and online versions of their age those accounts? publication?
JM: Social media has had a huge impact on The Alligator. Through Facebook and Twitter, we are able to cover breaking news instantly, giving our followers live updates as we learn new information. Both social media sites also give us the opportunity to engage with our readers, whether it’s by sending out polls, asking for information or simply replying to their feedback. All of our editors have access to the account, but the managing/ online editor has the main authority for overseeing the accounts. We are also on Insta-
AF: People still read print, so I think it’s important to continue putting it out and promoting it. We’ve recently made changes to our layout to make it more reader-friendly, and we try to mix things up with graphics, informative boxes and photos. Lots of photos! We’ve had a photo story a day, which proves there are other great ways to tell a story. Promoting stories online and adding extra stories is also important. Put the news out there. Inform readers in the community.
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I don’t believe two separate staffs are necessary. By working together, the print and online versions will complement each other. JM: You can definitely have the best of both worlds. While younger readers are shifting to online forms of media nowadays, be proud of the fact that you’re still creating a physical paper as well. Learn the benefits of each platform and what is suitable for each. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to get creative and take risks. It will make you stand out.
FOLLOW ON TWITTER The Alligator: @TheAlligator
Alyssa Fisher @AlyssaLFisher
Jordan McPherson @J_McPherson1126
YES YOU CAN
Common copyright fair uses by student journalists By FRANK D. LOMONTE
Executive Director, Student Press Law Center
is such an unhappy word. Nobody likes hearing it. Nobody likes saying it. Least of all us at the Student Press Law Center, who occasionally find ourselves telling a caller to the Center’s legal hotline not just “no” but “No!!!” – which usually follows something like, “Is it okay if I reprint photos from the Associated Press with a ‘courtesy of AP’ credit line?” (To repeat: Not okay!) So let’s devote today to “yes.” Let’s look at the “green light” moments where – despite anxieties, uncertainties and the occasional legal myth – it’s perfectly legal for a student publication to use a photo, video or emblem created by someone else. Let’s start with the most obvious one: Consent. Once you have the owner’s permission, it’s lawful to reuse anything. Student journalists sometimes surprise themselves at how readily professionals will extend the courtesy of consent to a nonprofit educational publication that poses no competitive threat. Even in the absence of consent, the law occasionally recognizes that it’s okay – in fact, it’s even healthy and constructive – to “borrow” copyright-protected work created by someone else, when the work is placed in a new context and repurposed to convey a new message. A classic example is parody. It’s legal to make a Weird Al Yankovicstyle spoof of a popular song, or draw a political cartoon using Disney’s Scrooge McDuck rolling around in his money to depict a school superintendent who just cashed in on a fat bonus. Even where you’re not ridiculing an artist’s work, your creation may still qualify as a defensible “fair use” under the Copyright Act, which forgives some minor infringements in the name of promoting creativity.
Yes, you can
Yes, you can use a small sampling of someone else’s creative work in connec-
tion with reviewing or critiquing that work. The Copyright Act recognizes that editorial commentary justifies republishing a few quotes from a book, lyrics from an album, or clips from a movie. It is always – always – safest to “borrow” from the official site of the artist or the producer, not just to grab the first image that pops up in a Google search. Entertainment magazines pay big bucks for photos of celebrities, and republishing that photograph of Robert Downey Jr. pulled off the People website could be a costly mistake.
Yes, you can
Yes, you can publish screenshots of tweets (and any other social-media posts) to illustrate a story about how people responded to some important or interesting moment. If your team wins the state basketball championship and one of your students tweets a photo of himself screaming with joy, his face painted in school colors, you are absolutely allowed to reprint that post as part of a story capturing fan reaction – the fact that fans took to social media to express their excitement is itself part of the story, so republishing those reactions is a recognized “fair use.” There is an additional reason that republishing a one-sentence social-media post almost certainly is not copyright infringement: Because copyright requires both “creativity” and “originality.” A few commonplace words on a Twitter feed – “Go Tigers, we are the champions!” – almost certainly lacks the originality and creativity to be protected by copyright law.
Yes, you can
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Yes, you can copy the logos of a company or organization when writing about that institution or that industry. Writing about the nutritional value of fast food? Go ahead and use that screenshot of the Golden Arches. Writing about the explosive popularity of social media in your school? Then you’re free to accompany the story with the familiar Instagram camera logo. This question often comes up when a high school publication is creating a chart or map of the colleges to which new graduates are heading. While colleges fiercely protect their trademarks and will gladly sue anyone exploiting those insignias to sell sweatshirts, they cannot stop journalists from republishing the logos to accompany news coverage. Be watchful that some organizations discourage do-it-yourself takeoffs of their logos, insisting on accurate versions – for example, the International Olympic Committee is fussy that its five-ringed logo always be replicated in its original blue-yellow-black-green-red sequence. However, you can publish an altered version of a company logo if you are mocking the company or its products – for example, cartoonists had fun drawing the BP corporate logo gushing oil after the petroleum company’s disastrous 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Yes, you can
Yes, you can reprint an image of an article or photo if that work itself becomes the subject of your news coverage. Here’s an example: Let’s say a track star from your high school is featured in Sports Illustrated magazine’s column, “Faces in the Crowd,” which gives national recognition to local amateur athletes who have done something noteworthy. The whole school is excited that Roger Runner’s picture is in this nationally circulated magazine – and if you’re writing about Roger’s moment of fame in Sports Illustrated, you can take a photo of
the magazine (or a screen capture of the online edition) to illustrate your coverage. The magazine article is itself the news, and copyright law allows you to republish the amount necessary to tell your story. (To make the strongest case that your use is a “fair use,” it can help to add some of your own creative elements to “transform” the work you’re republishing – in this situation, your own photo of Roger holding up the magazine would be the safest way to go.)
Yes, you can
And yes you can summarize and link to someone else’s work without fear of copyright infringement. Copyright protects the way a writer presents her information, but not the information itself. It’s fine to briefly de-
scribe an article from Rolling Stone or Glamour and then refer the reader to the original site – in fact, it helps the publisher build an audience. (Just avoid borrowing so much of an author’s work that your version actually substitutes for reading the original.) With these rules of thumb – and remember, they are just rules of thumb, and you should contact a lawyer (including those at the Student Press Law Center) if you’re uncertain before making a decision – you can publish without losing sleep that your work will result in copyright or trademark liability. And that deserves a big
DIVERSITY IN JOURNALISM By STAN ZOLLER
Director-At-Large, Journalism Education Association Changes in the media today are not limited to their delivery system. Journalistic stakeholders, whether they be movers and shakers at major media conglomerates or advisers at small schools in central Arkansas, are pondering not only how to deliver the news, but to whom as well. No longer can media outlets maintain a “Field of Dreams” mentality that “if we report it, they will read.” News media must reach a variety of audiences. They also must disseminate their news across multiple platforms, such as digital editions, Twitter, SnapChat, Facebook or the traditional print edition. Professional media outlets are constantly looking for the best ways to not only bridge the generation gap, but to also address the giant multicultural melting pot that is the United States. Scholastic journalism programs have it a bit easier as they generally do not need to deal with a multigenerational audience. However, scholastic media share the need to recruit and cover minorities and others with the professional media. This is becoming more essential as the nature of news consumers and the delivery of news and information changes. As major media organizations are learning, it’s going to be a challenge. And it will be for scholastic journalism programs as well. The Pew Research Center reported in its 2015 state of the media report that daily cir-
culation in the three largest Hispanic dailies is down an average of 8.6 percent. Broken down, El Nuevo Herald is down 7 percent, La Opinion down 10 percent and El Diario La Prensa decreased 9 percent. Interestingly enough, circulation at weekly Hispanic papers increased. So what kind of signals does this send scholastic journalism? Mixed. At face value, it should indicate that Hispanic news consumers are interested in news reports that have strong proximity to where they live. It may serve advisers in high schools that have a Hispanic – or significant enrollment of other cultural groups – to make sure that coverage in their media is well balanced. Conversely, recruitment efforts for staff members should be broad enough to encompass all cultural groups at the school. Minority participation in scholastic media was addressed by the newly reformed Diversity Committee of the Journalism Education Association during the JEA/NSPA spring conference in Denver. The committee also considered how advisers in culturally diverse schools, many of which are economically challenged, can get professional development not only for themselves, but their students as well. Here’s today’s understatement – it’s a real challenge. While having social media sites, new equipment and funds to attend workshops
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are essential, the key to unlock the door will be strong support by administrators and recognition by instructional gurus as to the value of journalism. In addition to the stellar curriculum offered by the JEA, administrators need to understand the concepts of news literacy related to news consumption that focus heavily on critical thinking skills. As noted, it’s a challenge. The Diversity Committee began looking at partnerships with professional journalism associations to help the committee reach out to various journalistic “sub groups.” These groups will include the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association and the Association of LGBT Journalists. While it’s important to identify with groups like those mentioned, scholastic journalism educators need to reach out to students enrolled in English as a Second Language classes as well as those students in special education class. When looking at diversity in scholastic media, it’s essential to look beyond the numbers because, quite simply, scholastic media needs to include all of the students, all the time.
TO INSPIRE AND LEAD Communicate the ‘why’ of your work By MELISSA WANTZ
Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers’ Association President, Harvard-Westlake School journalism adviser
aturday was chore day growing up. After soccer games ended, our family of six headed home for cleaning and yard work. My two brothers and Dad took the outside. My little sister, Mom and I got the inside. With four kids, six cats, a dog, a rabbit, a pair of rats and a hamster, it took a lot to maintain my parents’ standard of excellence, seemingly inspired by gorgeous spreads in Sunset Magazine. I was not an enthusiastic participant. One Saturday when I was about 13, I was assigned to clean the three bathrooms. Hoping to be released early from the drudgery, I worked fast, with as little effort as I thought I could get away with. Mom stopped vacuuming and came to inspect. A glance was enough to ignite her fury. “If you’re going to do something, do it right!” she yelled. “Or why even do it at all?” She got down on her hands and knees. She sanitized the awkwardly shaped toilet base and its top, where I hadn’t bothered to even lift the tissue box. She cleaned the outside of the bathtub. She wiped under the shampoo bottles. She replaced the near empty toilet paper roll I’d ignored. She dusted the baseboards. She re-folded the towels on the rack and lined them up just so. For 15 minutes, I watched, secretly rolling my eyes and thinking how ridiculous she was to clean parts of the toilet we didn’t even touch. But after a while, I was hot with shame. My mom worked full-time as a teacher and was often exhausted. Here she was doing my chore. Years passed and I understood that my mother, in her frustrated way, had been trying to communicate something integral about work. She was tired and didn’t have the right words for it, so she yelled, and she did the job herself, and she made me watch. Recently, I discovered the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek (Penguin, 2009). He writes that how we do a job and what we actually accomplish is intricately linked to why we do it in the first place. To inspire others to work with us, we should first spe-
cifically define and communicate the why of the work. Sinek’s book — and a little retrospective empathy — helps me see there was a reason for my mom’s anger and for her deep work ethic and high standards. She insisted we clean well so that our family and any guests would feel a deep sense of order, calm and pleasure walking into every room of our home. Even a kids’ bathroom. The problem that day was that she hadn’t communicated her why to me in a way that brought me on board at the start. She hadn’t inspired me to meet her high standards. She did not succeed as a leader of lazy teenage cleaners that day. I learned the hard way to do a better job — through embarrassment. Yes, it got me on board and even improved my work ethic. I remember the lesson to this day. But I resented her for a while, and I didn’t like myself. When pressed, tired journalism teachers may fall back on controlling practices or emotional manipulation to get students to work, too. Sinek’s book offers an alternative path, exploring how leaders can create active, successful, loyal teams without using maneuvers, transactions, games, pressure or external rewards.
He uses three circles to frame the discussion. Why is at the center of inspired work and leadership. Then how. Then what. If you get your why correct and communicate it clearly, everything else falls into
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FOLLOW ON TWITTER Melissa Wantz: @Mwantz
place. Sinek’s ideas caused me to reflect on my work as a high school journalism teacher. Why do I do it? It was easier to list why I don’t: not for the money, not for awards or travel or even the publications the kids produced. Though all are wonderful, they don’t inspire me over the long year as much as something else, something less tangible. Sinek got me to pinpoint it and state it in one sentence: I teach high school journalism to help young people become ethical leaders who long to serve others to their highest capacity. At first it seemed odd that the heart of why I teach has nothing to do with the nuts and bolts of journalism. Then I realized the nuts and bolts are the how and what of my job that flow from the why. They don’t drive my teaching; they are the methods and products of my deepest purpose. With that insight, I considered how I teach. I noticed that I tend to rely on methods that give students the freedom to manage themselves, including the inevitable problems, mistakes and failures that demand ethical analysis and action. I like working in “beta mode,” introducing new tools and trusting students to find what works for all of us. This is scary, frustrating and inefficient. It would be easier for me to be the decider. For me to filter their experience through my own understanding of what I know works. For me to be their boss rather than their adviser. But you don’t build leaders with ethical chops that way. I’d assumed I’d been operating on instinct over the past six years, but suddenly it seemed my “hunches and guesses” were logically connected to my purpose as an adviser. Why gives me the courage and patience for how. It was exhilarating to make the connection. So, what is the what? For me, it’s a publication that shines with the personality and pulse of enthusiastic high school students working on behalf of their community under professional standards. It’s a publication
that tries to be a model of excellence and service every day. It’s a place students flock to and sacrifice for. The what includes the countless articles, editorials, photos, videos, Tweets, Instagrams, Storifys, Slack messages, Trello boards, Camayak assignments, spreads, Web pages, the newsroom, the weekends and late nights — all managed by students who feel inspired and empowered to do their work “the right way” or to not do it at all. At least most of the time. Unlike dear Mom on cleaning day, I don’t
yell. I don’t do their work for them while they watch. I don’t use even a little guilt or shame. I attempt to help staff discover their why, asking: Why does our publication exist? Why do you choose to be here? Why are you handling this thing in this certain way? These are delicate discussions, but the answers create clarity that serves as a restraint the rest of the year, helping to channel energy and effort into what matters at heart. When we get it right, the organization feels integrated and purposeful, with an underlying sense of order, calm and pleasure.
The why resounds. If you are seeking new ideas to motivate and lead your publication staff, I recommend picking up a copy of Start with Why.”It’s not a book designed for educators, but rather for leaders of any stripe. Young editors would benefit from reading it as much as adults. You also might want to view Sinek’s 2009 TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”
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