Looking back on 2018, the troubles of the press were numerous and unrelenting. When the media was forced to cover itself, journalists — and the public — were given stark reminders of issues in the industry. Everything from controversy surrounding anonymous sources to unprovoked violence against reporters have dominated headlines in the past 12 months.
December 10th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Edit like a boss: cool tools help you master the trade
Reporting demands have increased in their deadline-driven, real-time nature due to the internet, social media and an overall changing news culture. With the added pressure to get things out fast, it’s easy to skim too quickly over more detailed parts of the process, like editing.
December 7th, 2018 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Broadway play casts spotlight on ‘alternative facts’
Early in the Broadway play “The Lifespan of a Fact,” an editor uses corporate-speak to explain why the fact-checking department at her magazine was done away with, drawing a spattering of laughs from the audience. The woman behind me whispered to her companion, “The ones who laughed at that are all the laid-off journalists here tonight.” In an equally hushed tone, her friend replied, “There’d be more here, except they can no longer afford New York theater prices.” Did that exchange of dialogue in the darkened Studio 54 theater actually happen, or I am using that bit of dialogue to make a point in this article you’re reading?
Jacqueline Thomas, an award-winning writer and editor, was once Washington bureau chief for The Detroit News. She’s appalled by the rhetoric against journalists coming from The White House these days and wants journalists to push back. “When I was a Washington bureau chief, I never had to deal with this many attacks from the White House,” Thomas said.
Selecting the right sources to quote and use to tell stories is helpful to increasingly skeptical news consumers confounded by a 24-hour news cycle and mobile devices overrun with false rumors and inaccurate information. Choosing the wrong sources could cause them to question the trustworthiness of a story and the news organization that published or broadcast it.
Using social media platforms in a newsroom can be a love/hate relationship for many of us. It seems we are constantly debating what to share, how much to share and when to share. I’ve always been a “social media supporter” in newsrooms.
November 27th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
The necessity of news must be taught at an early age
Recently, I posed a question to students in my Introduction to Broadcast Journalism class: How were you exposed to journalism in high school? I looked around, and I was flabbergasted. Not one student provided any evidence he or she had ever even heard of “journalism” prior to taking mass communication courses at Francis Marion University.
November 23rd, 2018 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Diversity, Diversity Toolbox
Covering social movements: Learn the community, relay context
Journalists and Baltimore residents have suggested ways to improve coverage of protests and social movements, such as those that followed the arrest and death of Freddie Gray in the city three years ago. Baltimore officers alleged Gray, a 25-year-old black man, had an illegal knife when they arrested him after a chase.
Searching for gifts for journalists this holiday season? Sure, pens, cameras and journals are always nice but why not be a bit more creative. The gifts on the list should help you get started. Fancy Notebooks ($12.95) Journalists take notes, so notebooks from Field Notes long have been a hit.
While researching a recent story for Mic on first-time voters, I wanted to talk to 18- and 19-year-olds across the political spectrum about their experience with the political system, and the issues and candidates they care about ahead of the midterm elections.
October 8th, 2018 • Quill Archives
When approaching a story, you must play your cards right
About a year ago I began playing a card game that offers lessons for reporters and writers. How we approach and structure a story reminds me of how I decide what to bid while playing Pitch. The simple game is similar to poker.
September 22nd, 2018 • Quill Archives
A media historian reflects on using Quill as a source
For more than a century the Society of Professional Journalists’ Quill has evolved from the ambitious, collegiate musings of a few earnest young men in a journalistic fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, to the national resource that it remains for all its members.