A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


Quill Archives


August 23rd, 2019 • Quill Archives
Video: Celebrating SPJ’s 110th at the place where it began

In 1909, a group of students founded the Society of Professional Journalists (as Sigma Delta Chi) at DePauw University. On Aug. 23, SPJ staffers, its board president, university official and more gathered on the spot where it happened for a brief ceremony celebrating its 110th anniversary.


August 15th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Odds and Ends
Review: It’s the press against the Pres in new Watergate board game

Connecting two sources directly to President Nixon was proving challenging, in spite of the efforts of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. Just when a connection looked solid, a potential source clammed up. Evidence couldn’t be secured. And Nixon was building momentum heading toward the end of his term.


August 8th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Ethics Toolbox
Quill question: When does sponsored content require disclosure?

An SPJ member asked: “A local entertainment publication provides a weekly print edition with information on weekly entertainment happenings in the area. They also feature various articles on people and events. Sometimes the cover is sold for the featured event. Does this require a disclosure?


August 5th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Q&A: Ben Montgomery, the reporter whose work led to Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Nickel Boys”

Ben Montgomery estimates that he’s written more than 150,000 words about Florida’s Arthur Dozier School for Boys, where for more than 100 years children were abused—or worse—at the hands of the state. Estimates are that nearly 100 boys died and were buried there before the facility was shut down in June 2011, and as recently as mid-July, University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle began an investigation of 27 possible graves at the site.


June 14th, 2019 • Quill Archives
The dirt on gossip columns

Susan Yerkes doesn’t like to call what she used to write a gossip column. “I never thought of what I wrote as that,” she said. “The word gossip, to me, has an unpleasant connotation, kind of a snarky one. I think of gossip as a kind of negative, personal besmirching.”


June 3rd, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
110-plus journalism movies, ranked

Note: The popularity of this story prompted us to treat it as a dynamic document, adding more reviews as appropriate movies are released or discovered. As such, “110 Journalism Movies, Ranked” has morphed into “110-plus Journalism Movies Ranked.” Enjoy.   Hollywood helps define just about everything in America.


June 1st, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives
Blockchain for beginners

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency could add new revenue streams for journalism. Or perhaps they are nothing more than distractions from the industry’s drastic problems. That depends who you ask. Proponents say that blockchain technology and cryptocurrency could open a new revenue stream for journalism, create more security and permanence of news archives, and give readers a new way to engage with news and journalists.


May 10th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives
Critical Eye: Rupert Murdoch on Broadway in Tony-nominated “Ink”

James Graham’s play “Ink” opened April 24 at Broadway’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Quill asked New York-based arts journalist Martha Wade Steketee to take a look and report back. Here are her thoughts.   Playwright James Graham’s “Ink” imagines tabloid emperor Rupert Murdoch’s origin story, rooted in a 1969 London we barely see, amidst London landmarks that are named but not evoked, told by characters sometimes half described.


April 18th, 2019 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Impactful Pulitzer-winning journalism undermines ‘fake news’ claims

The news stories that won Pulitzer Prizes this week show the benefits of having journalists free to tediously dig through records, analyze volumes of data, interview sources under dangerous circumstances and widely share their findings. They show how good journalism can help people understand issues that directly impact their lives.


March 26th, 2019 • Quill Archives
Perception of bias: the media and the Mueller report

There’s much chatter on social media claiming that the failure of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to draw any conclusive links between the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — combined with the exhaustive coverage of the investigation — is proof of a bias against the president by the news media.


March 13th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
110 journalism landmarks for the 110th. Your input requested.

This fall, SPJ continues the celebration of its 110th anniversary with a special print issue of Quill devoted to 110 landmark moments in American journalism. From the first newspaper in America to the publication of the Pentagon Papers and from the printing of the Federalist Papers to the document dumps of Wikileaks, we are looking for the moments that shaped and defined the Fourth Estate. And you can be a part of it.


March 12th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
SPJ calls on Congress to pass strong Federal Shield Law

Each day, journalists throughout the country are working tirelessly to inform their readers what the government is up to. The free press is one of the most important pillars of American democracy. By reporting the truth, reporters allow the citizenry to elect leaders that represent their values and ideals and craft laws and policies that they believe in.


March 1st, 2019 • Quill Archives, From the President
Listen to Your Own Little (Wo)man

Barton Keyes personifies the ideal insurance claims adjuster in the classic, and must-see, film noir “Double Indemnity.” Although he’s neither a journalist nor a real person, the character portrayed by the inimitable Edward G. Robinson is worth emulating. What truly sets him apart is the Little Man who dwells in the pit of his stomach.


January 21st, 2019 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Is news without names the new normal?

Anonymous sources — one of journalism’s most powerful tools — are also one of its most dangerous.      Almost every journalist has received a request for anonymity. A source calls up promising a big scoop or an untold story with one condition: that his or her name not be used in the story.   And sometimes that request is granted, placing the journalist and publication in the line of fire rather than the source.   Granting anonymity is one of the toughest choices any reporter or editor has to make.


January 9th, 2019 • Featured, Quill Archives
Where has all the sex advice for men gone?

In a post #MeToo era, men’s magazines are pulling sex from their pages. Experts say they shouldn’t. This is not your father’s sex coverage. If there’s one message men’s magazines are sending, it’s that they will not report on sex the way they have in the past.


December 19th, 2018 • Featured, Quill Archives, Membership, SPJ Works
Jailhouse journalism sheds light on life behind bars

It’s a Saturday in mid-September and Nigel Poor and Earlonne Woods have just released Episode 1 of Season 3 of their hit podcast, Ear Hustle. The deadline for Episode 2 is in about 10 days, episode 3 two weeks after that, then four through eight, every two weeks through the end of the year.