A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists



March 8th, 2005 • Quill Archives
E-Mail Interviews

Ken Metzler, longtime journalism educator and author of the book “Creative Interviewing,” was quoted in a 1993 magazine article saying he was hesitant to consider interviews by e-mail “interviews” at all. Three years later, a new edition of “Creative Interviewing” contained a chapter devoted exclusively to electronic aids to interviewing — including the e-mail interview.


September 22nd, 2004 • Quill Archives
On-the-job training

Imagine: A reporter doing a feature story on a five-star restaurant glimpses a cockroach scuttle across the floor during an interview with the owner. A newsroom grapples with reporting on a high school student’s suicide, a difficult issue made more complicated when the divorced parents disagree over how much information to provide.


May 13th, 2004 • Quill Archives
A shift of substance

When Jim Schuh was a commercial radio station manager and owner in the central Wisconsin city of Stevens Point (population: 25,000), local radio reporters covered the school board, city and county government, the surrounding towns and villages, the university, the police, local sports and two high schools.


March 17th, 2004 • Quill Archives
A job intentionally caught in the middle

Ask Florida Times-Union Reader Advocate Mike Clark, who has one of the longest tenures as a reader advocate in the country, about the worst experience in his 14 years on the job, and he’s quick to remember: The newspaper published a story that exposed racially insensitive remarks made by a chief judge in Jacksonville.


February 9th, 2004 • Quill Archives
Covering the bases

On a Sunday early last September, a National Public Radio listener wrote to NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin to voice – in no uncertain terms – dissatisfaction with coverage of the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. Specifically, the listener berated NPR for identifying the trade and NAFTA positions of most of the candidates, but not those of U.S.


July 24th, 2003 • Quill Archives
Rebuilding trust

James E. Shelledy could be forgiven if his ability to trust reporters plummeted after an ethical scandal in April rocked the newspaper he led for 12 years. Shelledy resigned as editor of The Salt Lake Tribune on May 1 after saying he had mishandled the controversy that erupted when two reporters admitted selling unpublished salacious rumors about the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case to the National Enquirer for $20,000.


May 19th, 2003 • Quill Archives
Pinching pennies:

hen George Smith, publisher of a small-town daily newspaper in Arkansas, saw newspapers retrenching in response to a sluggish economy, he did the unexpected: He switched his publishing cycle from morning to evening and started a weekly newspaper in a town 12 miles away.


April 29th, 2003 • Quill Archives
What’s acceptable on message boards?

In the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, just hours after the terrorist attacks, producers at the online counterpart of The New York Times launched a message board specifically designated to provide Internet users with the opportunity to talk about the catastrophic events of that morning.


March 27th, 2003 • Quill Archives
The dangers of criminalizing speech

The conviction of a publisher and editor under a criminal defamation statute in Kansas last year has ignited state and national debate about the value of rarely used – and often clearly archaic – criminal defamation statutes that remain on the books in up to half of the states in the country.


April 3rd, 2002 • Quill Archives
Educators respond to call for diversity

Significant efforts to integrate diversity issues into journalism programs have been undertaken in universities throughout the nation, leading some educators to be cautiously optimistic that future journalists may be better equipped to include the voiceless of today in the news columns of tomorrow.


March 5th, 2002 • Quill Archives
The Move to Management

In 1994, a year after being hired as managing editor of the Southwest Daily Times in Liberal, Kan., Jeff Burkhead was named its publisher. During the course of his career, he had been a reporter and photographer. He had sold ads.


November 14th, 2001 • Quill Archives
Newspaper extras: A piece of history

The newspapers of the nation that published extra editions within hours of the terrorist attack on Sept. 11 followed a centuries-old tradition that provided readers with context and coherence as events of the times unfolded. Now some experts say that by doing what newspapers do best – capturing history and conveying its importance and impact – these extra editions validated the feelings of a nation in shock and may be harbingers of a regeneration of journalism at a crucial time in its evolution.


October 4th, 2001 • Quill Archives
Freedom: A fight for everyone

T o Kansas native Keen A. Umbehr, the freedom to write newspaper articles critical of elected officials was his constitutional right. To the county commissioners he routinely skewered, it was rubbish. And to the Supreme Court of the United States, it was No.