A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


  • November 12th, 2020 • Featured | #Toolbox | #Quill Archives | #Digital Media Toolbox
    Journalist’s Toolbox at 25

    Victor Hernandez preaches the gospel of newsroom productivity, whether he’s working with his reporters in the Crosscut newsroom in Seattle or training journalists at conferences around the country. Hernandez’s philosophy is simple: Think trends and not tools when finding digital resources that can make you more productive.


    June 1st, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #News Biz Quiz
    June — and final — News Biz Quiz

    I’d like to begin this, the final Quill News Biz Quiz, by saying thanks. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed these quizzes over the last few months and perhaps even gotten some new insight into how media itself can shape the news. As for me, I’m signing off to start work on my PhD in mass communications at: a) Syracuse University’s Newhouse School b) Faber College c) Grand Lakes University d) Wossamatta U e) UC Sunnydale The correct answer is a, obviously, but bonus points for you if you can name the source of the fictional higher education locations on this list.


    May 27th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Journalism Education
    Navigating Remote Learning

    This feature celebrates one of SPJ’s four guiding principals: We are producers of journalism’s future.  These days, Robert Walz approaches his teaching in much the same way he did as a TV news anchor: with short bursts of information delivered in an engaging way.


    May 26th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Bookshelf | #Diversity
    Bookshelf: Ken Ellingwood looks at journalism pioneer Elijah Lovejoy

    Ken Ellingwood readily admits that the subject of his new book is not exactly a household name. But for anyone who believes mightily in the First Amendment, Elijah Lovejoy was a titan of its promise and protections. “First to Fall: Elijah Lovejoy and the Fight for a Free Press in the Age of Slavery” is Ellingwood’s deeply researched story of a man in the 1830s who used the power of the pen to speak out firmly against the horrors of slavery, fighting back harder with every death threat and unruly mob who came after him.


    May 19th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Ethics Toolbox
    Connecting to the Code

    This feature celebrates one of SPJ’s four guiding principals: We are stewards of ethical journalism.  Truth took a beating during the past four years, with the previous U.S. president frequently spewing provably false or misleading statements as disinformation overall coursed through social media with ferocious speed.


    May 10th, 2021 • Featured | #Toolbox | #Quill Archives | #Digital Media Toolbox
    SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox Tool of the Month: Tools for Visualizing the Census, Part I

    There are many ways to visualize data from the U.S. Census. Next month, we’ll explore chart-making software to visualize demographic data. But this month we’ll explore how to visualize physical change with Google Earth Engine Timelapse. Earth Engine is a project organized by Google, Carnegie Mellon, the US Geological Survey and NASA.


    April 30th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #News Biz Quiz
    News Biz Quiz: A renamed Times section, new AP style points, more

    Ah, spring, the time of year when our minds turn to blooming flowers, escaping a year of COVID captivity and, of course, the May News Biz Quiz! It’s been a good month for comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, so let’s get started!


    April 27th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Bookshelf
    Bookshelf: Editing the annual ‘Best American Magazine Writing’ anthology

    Sid Holt, executive director of the American Society of Magazine Editors, knows a thing or two about long-form journalism. He started his career in 1984 at Rolling Stone, where he rose to managing editor within six years. His crowded resume also includes a stint as editorial director of Us Magazine; editor-in-chief and executive vice president of Adweek Magazines from 1998 to 2004; chief editor of Editor & Publisher; and editorial director of VNU Business Media, whose digital and print portfolio includes Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter.


    April 26th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Member Profile | #People and Places
    Celebrating the Stories Behind the Stories

    This feature celebrates one of SPJ’s four guiding principals: We are champions for journalists.  For nearly 90 years, the Society of Professional Journalists awards have honored journalists and outlets for their crucial contributions to the profession. The awards are designed to recognize the very best in professional journalism across print, radio, television, newsletters, art/graphics and online.


    April 16th, 2021 • Featured
    Hicks: DeSantis square off with “60 Minutes” feeds media distrust

    It sounded familiar: A politician brazenly admonishing the press for a story that portrayed him unfavorably, accusing the reporter of bias and the “big corporate media” of smearing his name for profit.  But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ excoriation of a “60 Minutes” report on the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout landed differently because a significant aspect of his criticism — a questionable allegation of wrongdoing — was echoed by respected mainstream journalists and news organizations, elevating the credibility of his complaint. 


    April 12th, 2021 • Featured | #Toolbox | #Quill Archives
    SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox Tool of the Month: Scraping a .PDF

    I loathe .PDFs of public records with the power of a thousand suns. They’re a tease. They’re full of data tables but useless to most data journalists in the .PDF format. And government officials love to share them with us because they know a .PDF


    April 8th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives
    Understanding Shield Law

    This feature celebrates one of SPJ’s four guiding principals: We are fighters for the First Amendment.    You’ve written a story that embarrassed someone who now wants the name of your protected source. Or perhaps a trial judge demands you testify and spill all.


    April 1st, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #News Biz Quiz
    News Biz Quiz: Oprah, Jeopardy, media leaders, more

    No foolin’ — it’s time for another News Biz Quiz! Yes, this one does have a story that fooled some news outlets. It also has Oprah making fools out of some British royals and late newsman Roger Mudd fooling a politician with a seemingly easy question.


    March 30th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Diversity | #Journalist on Call
    Diversifying newsrooms requires buy-in and commitment to goals

    A goal of American newspaper editors to achieve newsroom diversity that matched the racial and ethnic diversity of the country was considered so ambitious they set the deadline more than two decades out.  Twenty years after the deadline, the goal still hasn’t been met, but the urgent need to do so remains, highlighted by the recent Atlanta-area killings of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent. 


    March 29th, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Freedom of the Prez | #From the President
    From the President: Shifting gears and moving forward

    At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to cancel a half-dozen eagerly anticipated trips I’d planned as incoming Society of Professional Journalists president. I had booked flights to Hawaii, Minnesota, Utah, Illinois, Indiana and Washington, D.C. — three for regional SPJ conferences and three others for leadership training, a board meeting and our Sigma Delta Chi Awards.


    March 22nd, 2021 • Featured | #Quill Archives | #Ten With...
    10 with DuJuan McCoy

    DuJuan McCoy began his career in Indianapolis selling TV advertising spots door-to-door. More than three decades later, the media mogul has managed, owned and operated various networks, at one point becoming the only Black person to own and operate a Fox affiliate in the United States.


    March 8th, 2021 • Featured | #Toolbox | #Quill Archives | #Digital Media Toolbox
    SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox Tool of the Month: Scrape data from a web page/format it for editing

    Government websites love to bury data in tables on web pages. Why? It satisfies legal requirements for making document public under sunshine laws, but it renders the data useless. You can’t sort or filter the data to look for trends, do math calculations to find rates and averages, and other things journalists need to find stories.