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Home > Publications > Quill

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March/April 2014
Volume 102 | Number 2
View as PDF: Click to download

From the President
I remember vividly a conversation I had about 10 years ago with Patrick Lee Plaisance, a former journalist and current media ethics scholar at Colorado State University. I asked him why he chose to focus his teaching and research — his life’s work — on ethics. He looked at me surprised, like ...

Ten with Liz Wahl
The tagline for this feature is "Quill asks 10 questions to people with some of the coolest jobs in journalism." But Liz Wahl is on our radar, and the world's, for the job she doesn't have. You might not recognize her name off hand, but you probably know the headline: "Anchor resigns on-air ...

Citizen Code
"You don’t want to make any promises, Mr. Kane, you don’t want to keep.” Thus begins the most uncomfortable scene for any journalist in the classic 1941 film “Citizen Kane.” Charles Foster Kane, the fictional millionaire newspaper publisher based on William Randolph Hearst, has just ...

Says Who?
From a Malaysian air force official who didn’t want to be named in stories about missing Flight MH370 because he wasn’t authorized to speak to a “Bachelor production team insider” who tipped Us Weekly to the juicy gossip surrounding a recent contestant on the reality TV series, anonymous and unnamed ...

Member Profile: Lindsey Cook
In the fall of her junior year at the University of Georgia, Lindsey Cook found herself in the middle of one of the highest-profile campus media battles of ...

Guidelines on Anonymous Sources
Note: Read the full Quill story, "Says Who?" on anonymous sources here. Excerpts from policy statements and/or guidelines on anonymity The Associated Press (excerpted ...

Digital Media Toolbox
Ecclesiastes put it this way: “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I recall the Old Testament curmudgeon every time I come across another pundit proclaiming how journalism schools must teach every student “data-based journalism,” how to wrangle “big data,” and how to create “data visualizations” ...

Education Toolbox
It's a challenge for even some of the most seasoned TV reporters: having an authoritative yet approachable delivery as they “track” or narrate a story. Also hard: appearing at ease during the on-camera portion of the story, commonly known as the stand-up. It’s also a challenge for those of ...

Revising the Code of Ethics: What’s going on?
As you may have heard, SPJ is in the process of reviewing and revising the current Code of Ethics, which was last updated in 1996. Here’s an update on what the Ethics Committee has been working on, and will continue to work on until the national Excellence in Journalism convention Sept. 4 to 6 in Nashville, ...

FOI Toolbox
At this writing, state court systems in 24 states have Twitter accounts, 11 are on YouTube, and eight are on Facebook, according to the National Center for State Courts. But while courts may be jumping on the social media bandwagon to get information out to the public, they’re not uniformly keen on ...

Freelance Toolbox
Recently, I was relieved to finally make good progress on a major assignment. For one brief moment, the only sound in the house was the click of my fingers on the keyboard. Of course, it wasn’t long before the phone rang — it was work-related, and that was the time that all hell decided it ...

Generation J Toolbox
Sheriff: “We have at least two shots fired in the theater.” (five minutes later) Sheriff: “Only one shot was fired and it went through the wife’s hand into her husband’s chest.” (Producer calls) Producer: “We have aerial footage from the chopper in house. Call for it in your live ...

Narrative Writing Toolbox
With this column, I’m launching something that will be an added feature. Yes, I’m going to continue discussing specific writing techniques and thoughts writers can use to improve their narrative attempts. But I’ve heard from many new writers who want to get started. They need encouragement and a chance ...

Words & Language Toolbox
My career as a writing coach has taught me that good writing boils down to a few overriding principles. The first is the writer’s clear-eyed understanding that writing is speech, written. And good writing is good speech, written. I’m not parroting the axiom “write like you speak.” That’s ...

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