A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


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December 16th, 2018 • Ten With...
From intern to owner: Ten with Katherine Rowlands

Three decades ago, Katherine Ann Rowlands started her career in journalism as an intern at Bay City News Service. Now, she’s the owner of the 24/7 news service that covers the greater San Francisco Bay Area. BCN, founded in 1979 with eight offices around the region, provides news feeds to about 100 clients, including TV, radio, digital and print newsrooms.


December 15th, 2018 • Featured, Quill Blog, Diversity, Journalist on Call
How the New York Times maintains its credibility

For 167 years, The New York Times has rigorously investigated important national and world issues and written about them with sophistication for a curious and cultured audience. There have been some serious breaches along the way, including the revelation in 2003 that one of its reporters had been fabricating details of stories and copying the work of journalists at other newspapers.


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, Journalist on Call
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 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.


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 12th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Ten With...
Ten with New York Times Bureau Chief Manny Fernandez

Manny Fernandez, Houston bureau chief for The New York Times, was the editor of his Fresno, California, school newspaper, The Viking Times, in eighth grade. Since then, journalism has been not just a career but a calling. His first full-time job was with the San Francisco Chronicle, where in 1998 he spent months with a group of young homeless people for a series called “Nobody’s Child.” He later joined The Washington Post as a general-assignment reporter.


August 29th, 2018 • Featured, Quill Archives, Freedom of Information, Journalist on Call
Annapolis community: Slain journalists ‘were part of us’

ANNAPOLIS, Md.  — When Jessie Haynes first heard about a shooting at the Capital Gazette, across the street from the mall where she works, she assumed it was carried out by someone featured unfavorably in a news story. It didn’t cross her mind, as it did many journalists across the country, that the shooter might have been inspired to attack a newsroom by rhetoric coming from the U.S.


August 17th, 2018 • Featured, Journalist on Call
Why the #FreePress editorials were not enough

Thursday was a proud day for journalists. Hundreds of newspapers and other media organizations explained the important role they play in their communities or the country and asserted they are not “enemies of the people” as the president has frequently said.


July 2nd, 2018 • Quill Blog, Words & Language Toolbox
Take this quiz to help refresh your writing

Nothing annoys readers like having to plow through a litter of errors on their way to a period. And because even professional writers can get rusty regarding the basics, it’s a good idea to check on one’s recall from time to time.