A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


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  • February 25th, 2020 • Featured | #Quill Blog | #Quill Archives | #Bookshelf
    Bookshelf: New book explores trade publication’s role in exposure of the Keating Five

    In late 1989, front pages and evening newscasts were dominated for weeks by stories about the national savings and loan crisis that saw more than 1,000 thrift institutions fail. Drawing particular interest from the media was a high-powered businessman named Charles Keating Jr.,


    February 18th, 2020 • Featured | #Quill Blog | #Toolbox | #Freelance Toolbox | #Narrative Writing Toolbox
    Excerpt: Tips on organizing notes from “The Craft of Science Writing”

    The new book The Craft of Science Writing is a curated collection from The Open Notebook, a primary resource for science journalists. It offers a primer on how to report and write about science, including how to read a scientific paper and how to explain complex concepts and processes clearly.


    February 17th, 2020 • Featured | #Quill Blog | #Quill Archives
    Hicks: Snoop Dogg’s threat to Gayle King echoes national media attacks

    Snoop Dogg’s sexist, threatening response to Gayle King for bringing up an old rape allegation against Kobe Bryant looked very familiar. It reminded me of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launching into a profanity-laced tantrum following an interview with National Public Radio anchor Mary Louise Kelly.


    February 13th, 2020 • Featured | #Odds and Ends
    Bookshelf: “Author in Chief: The Untold Story of our Presidents and the Books They Wrote”

    About 10 years ago, journalist and historian Craig Fehrman got an idea for a book. It would be a book about the books that presidents write. Pretty simple, right? Just make a list of all of those books, read them and then tell people about what you’ve read.


    February 10th, 2020 • Featured
    In Journalism We Distrust: Notes from the Casper Project

    The Avis rental car office serving the Casper/Natrona County International Airport sits off-site, but there’s a shuttle at the ready. The drive is an easy two and a half miles — enough time for the friendly, courteous driver to ask a question, whose answer she seems genuinely interested in hearing.


    February 3rd, 2020 • Featured | #Freelance Toolbox | #Odds and Ends
    Studies show…or maybe they don’t

    Misinterpreted data and unsubstantiated conclusions plague press and social media. What can journalists do to stop them? Quill asked Rob Pyatt, who has presented workshops focused on teaching critical thinking skills, to chime in on the subject. Pyatt, an assistant professor in the New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics at Kean University, is certified in Clinical Molecular Genetics and serves as a director of the Oxy-Gen Laboratory in Norcross, Georgia. 


    January 22nd, 2020 • Featured | #Ten With...
    10 with Al Letson

    Bringing with him a résumé that included work as a hip-hop musician, a slam poet, a playwright, a performer and even a comic book author, Al Letson joined The Center for Investigative Reporting to help launch and host public radio’s first hourlong investigative journalism show, “Reveal.”


    January 16th, 2020 • Quill Blog | #Quill Archives
    Update: “Bombshell,” “Richard Jewell” and more

    “110 Journalism Movies, Ranked”  — Quill’s cinematic way of celebrating the 110th anniversary of SPJ — proved overwhelmingly popular. And it continues to get visited by a steady stream of readers. Since publication of the original piece, though, there has been a run of new movies with journalistic themes, which put our seemingly exhaustive story at risk of being outdated.


    January 14th, 2020 • Featured
    Journalism on autopilot: The upside and downside of computer-generated stories

    Curt Conrad still remembers heading to bed at 4 a.m. on football Friday nights. With multiple games to cover, quotes to cull and stats to sort, football Friday inevitably led to sleepy Saturday. Not now. Conrad, a sports reporter with the all-digital Richland Source in Mansfield, Ohio, relies on automated journalism to cover brass tacks such as the final score, scoring plays by quarter, team records, basic stats and future schedules to generate game stories independently.


    January 2nd, 2020 • Featured | #Quill Archives
    POV: Asperger’s in the newsroom

    What’s the fallout from the radical downturn in the influence of newspapers? To be sure, a less informed populace. More stories generated from press releases. Fewer in-depth articles. Less enterprise coverage of local and regional news. I think there’s something else.


    December 20th, 2019 • Featured | #From the President
    From the President: Women have long been a force at SPJ

    Since the days of Nellie Bly – and likely before – women have been a force in journalism. They lead newsrooms. They win Pulitzer Prizes. They fill pages and screens with high-quality, can’t-miss coverage. And in my world – journalism higher ed – they fill far more classroom seats than their male counterparts.


    December 19th, 2019 • Featured | #Journalist on Call
    Hicks: Media essential in impeachment understanding

    Much of the evidence introduced during the House impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump was accessible to Americans through the news media and online sites. This allowed unprecedented access to hours of testimony, the opportunity to review documents and, ostensibly, to judge the case against Trump for themselves.