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Quill Blog


December 13th, 2018 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
2018 in journalism: violence against journalists, newsroom cutbacks and more monopolies

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?


December 5th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Diversity, Ten With...
Ten with Jacqueline Thomas

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.


December 5th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
When reporting stories, consider the sources

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.


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.


November 20th, 2018 • Freedom of the Prez, From the President
Championing global press freedom

PARIS — More than an ocean separates the United States from France. The contradictory world views of their leaders veered sharply into focus on the centennial of World War I. Hours after making the now famous Armistice Day pronouncement beneath the Arc de Triomphe that “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism,” President Emmanuel Macron of France introduced an event launching a global initiative for freedom of information and democracy.


October 29th, 2018 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Diversity
I tried to find a young conservative on the internet. It was really hard.

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.


September 30th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Ethics Toolbox
10 lessons in journalism ethics

My tenure as the Society of Professional Journalists’ ethics committee chairperson began in September 2014. A Minneapolis news station would broadcast a story now known as #Pointergate in early November. Rolling Stone would publish its now-infamous story on sexual assault a couple of weeks later. 


September 18th, 2018 • Toolbox, Quill Archives, Freelance Toolbox, Freelancing
2017 law means changes for freelancers’ taxes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) included several provisions that affect how independent journalists are taxed on their business income. We asked Matthew Apodaca, a certified public accountant and executive vice president at NCH Tax & Wealth Advisors in Fullerton, California, to help us understand the current tax situation for freelancers.


September 14th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Freedom of the Prez
Honor those who sacrificed their lives practicing ethical journalism

In the fall issue of Quill, we examine the state of local news from a writer who visited dozens of newsrooms across the country. Those of us who work in local newsrooms, or have friends and colleagues working there, know all too well about the challenges they face under relentless financial pressures.