A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


Quill Archives


January 22nd, 2021 • Featured, Toolbox, Quill Archives, Digital Media Toolbox
SPJ Journalist’s Toolbox Tool of the Month: Google Dataset Search

Editor’s note: This is the first of what will be monthly posts about how to use digital and data tools on Journalist’s Toolbox. Check back each month for new tools, tips and tricks. Google launched its Dataset Search tool in November 2018 to help researchers locate data that is freely available for use.


January 15th, 2021 • Featured, Quill Archives, Journalist on Call
Groups say frontline journalists at-risk, seek vaccination priority

UPDATE: The CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan lists the media as essential workers to be given the vaccine in Phase 1c. This places them after people aged 65 years or older and other essential workers including healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store workers, public transit workers and teachers.


January 13th, 2021 • Featured, Quill Archives, Ten With...
10 with “In the Dark” podcaster Madeleine Baran

For the past three years, Madeleine Baran and the team behind the “In the Dark” podcast have worked to uncover the truth behind the case against Curtis Flowers. Flowers was convicted for the 1996 murders of four people inside the Tardy Furniture store in Winona, Mississippi.


January 11th, 2021 • Featured, Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz: The journalistic fallout from Jan. 6

It was another tough week for journalism. You know that. So, obviously, most of this week’s questions have to do with what happened on Jan. 6 and the editorial fallout. 1. What somewhat-controversial three-letter collective noun appeared in the headlines of (among others) The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and Houston Chronicle on Jan.


January 6th, 2021 • Featured, Quill Archives, Bookshelf
Bookshelf: Conversation with Koa Beck and “White Feminism”

In her new book “White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind” (Atria Books), Koa Beck draws from her experiences in personal, academic and professional life to highlight the subtle way in which white feminists can claim oppression by the patriarchy while also oppressing women of color and non-binary people.


January 4th, 2021 • Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz: Web traffic, a POTUS call and more

It’s a new year and that means new questions for the News Biz Quiz. 1. Rank these news sites in terms of average (organic) web traffic in 2020 (statistics through Dec. 12): Yahoo! News New York Times CNN The Guardian USA Today 2. 


December 21st, 2020 • Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz: McClatchy unionization, an 1897 letter to the editor, more

A mass McClatchy unionization effort and a timeless question-and-answer highlight this week’s News Biz Quiz.   1. Danish researchers took to CNN recently to debunk what Fox host’s misinterpretation of a study they did, in which they did NOT seek to repudiate the practicality of mask-wearing.


December 15th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Freedom of the Prez, From the President, Membership
From the President: Doubling down on SPJ

It was 229 years ago, on Dec. 15, 1791, that this nation adopted the 45 words of the First Amendment. And that set the foundation for everything our free press has done since. On that same date, in 1971, my parents welcomed me into the world and named me after Henry David Thoreau — and set the foundation for everything I’ve done since.


December 14th, 2020 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
News Biz Quiz: The Doctor is in … unless Joseph Epstein has his way

Dear Joseph Epstein — kiddo — you may want to jump to question 5. For the rest, start at the beginning and see how you do with this edition of the News Biz Quiz.   Both the House and Senate have passed a defense spending bill which refuses to delete Section 230 of what 1996 legislation (full name or Act acceptable), which protects against lawsuits stemming from user comments on internet sites?   Time Magazine named tech entrepreneur Eric Yuan its Businessperson of the Year.


December 7th, 2020 • Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
New Biz Quiz 12/7: Cord cutting, staffing and more

More cord-cutters may still be able to get their local newscasts, but who’s staffing those newsrooms, exactly? Those topics and more in this week’s News Biz Quiz.   1. Which streaming service says it’ll offer newscasts from as many as 100 local TV markets by the end of 2021?


December 5th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Archives
Journalists’ Gift Guide 2020

How to use this guide Step 1: Consider a journalist you love. Step 2: Survey our selection of recommended gifts. Step 3: Find them at your friendly local retailer or order online. Step 4: When you acquire the item, wrap it festively (or in one of the newspapers to which you happily still subscribe).


December 1st, 2020 • Featured, Quill Archives, People and Places
2020 Fellow Feature: Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has been reporting on race, education and segregation for decades, picking up the MacArthur Fellowship, Polk and Peabody awards along the way. Now at The New York Times Magazine, where she created The 1619 Project, she said she’s “doing exactly what I’ve worked my entire career to do … The only reason I ever wanted to become a journalist was to write about racial inequalities.”


November 30th, 2020 • Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz for 11/30: Newcomers making headlines

New is in the news with a press secretary designate and a change in ownership at a major media company. Have you been keeping up? 1. The Boston Globe Company has named its co-owner, Linda Henry, as CEO. She’s part of the family that owns the Boston Red Sox, as well as what English Premier League soccer team, which plays home games at Anfield in Merseyside?


November 25th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
“Bad Education,” “The Photograph,” “Most Wanted” and more journalism movies

Need ideas for what to watch over the holiday breaks? Here are a batch of recent films we’ve added to our almost-exhaustive, ranked list of 110+ Journalism Movies. To see where these are ranked and to view the entire list, click here. 


November 23rd, 2020 • Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz for 11/23/2020: Person of the Year reveal, Pinedale Mall memories, more

This year, as you’re hopefully socially distanced while eating turkey and watching the Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys, be sure to include in your Thanksgiving list those people doing the hard work of daily journalism — some of whom are mentioned in this week’s News Biz Quiz.


November 17th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Caution boosted credibility in election coverage

Lost in the Trump-fueled chaos of the presidential election is a glimmer of light cast on the news media for doing an exceptional job covering it. In recent years, news organizations have been trying harder to prove to news consumers they can be trusted by providing information about reporters who covered a story, uploading more documents to back up their reporting and explaining controversial news decisions, among other efforts.