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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.


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 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.


November 10th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Diversity
From a Brooklyn apartment to the Kennedy Center, BIPOC critics lab challenges norms

There’s no question that the arts criticism world is primarily a white world, with few BIPOC (Black, Indiginous and people of color) voices in the mix. Frustrated by that fact, Jose Solís, co-founder and co-host of the Token Theatre Friends podcast, decided to take matters into his own hands by creating the BIPOC Critics Lab, meeting for 10 weeks via Zoom with eight future critics from around the country.


November 9th, 2020 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives
News Biz Quiz: Election edition

The election may have an outcome, but we still have questions…in this week’s News Biz Quiz. 1. Arrange these news networks by the order in which they (FINALLY!) called the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, Nov. 7: NBC CBS ABC CNN Fox News 2.


November 5th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, People and Places
2020 Fellow Interview: Les Zaitz

No one would have faulted veteran investigative reporter Les Zaitz if, after retiring from The Oregonian in 2016, he’d kicked back at his east Oregon ranch with his wife and watched the world go by. What did a man who’d covered the Mount St.


November 2nd, 2020 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz for 11/2: Election inaccuracies, disinformation and a legendary sports scribe

“BREAKING: Dewey Defeats Truman!”  Or maybe not.  It regularly takes a while — sometimes days, even — to get full results from an election. So we shouldn’t call the outcome and risk disenfranchising voters until we’re sure.  In the meantime, while we all patiently wait, try this week’s News Biz Quiz.


October 29th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, People and Places
2020 SPJ Fellow Tribute: Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill was a trailblazer and journalism icon with near-universal respect from peers for how she conducted her craft. She began her career in newspapers and moved to television networks, serving as moderator and managing editor of PBS’s “Washington Week” and co-anchor and managing editor of “PBS NewsHour” at the time of her death in 2016.


October 26th, 2020 • Quill Blog, Quill Archives, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz for 10/28: New meaning to ‘media exposure’

In this week’s News Biz Quiz, we learn what the term “media exposure” is NOT supposed to mean, and there’s no joy in Mudville as sports networks lose carriers.   1. Okay, let’s dispense with this straightaway: What legal analyst was suspended from his job at The New Yorker and placed on leave by CNN after (accidentally, he says) exposing himself on a Zoom call with colleagues?


October 23rd, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, People and Places
2020 Fellow interview: Jorge Ramos

A breaking news event that occurred in the United States 39 years ago started longtime Univision anchor Jorge Ramos on his journalism career path. To help pay for college, the Mexico City native was working at a Mexico radio station. When then-U.S.


October 22nd, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Before you write about that “haunted” house …

Editor’s Note: ‘Tis the season…for otherwise credible publications to publish unsubstantiated reports of haunted houses and other paranormal activity. To discuss why this is a problem, Quill reached out to Dr. Rob Pyatt, who led the “Weird Science: What Journalists Get Wrong About Scientific Studies…and How to Get It Right” program at the SPJ2020.


October 13th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Bookshelf
Q&A: Leonard Downie Jr. on 44 years with The Washington Post, his memoir and more

During his 44 years at The Washington Post, 17 of them as executive editor, Leonard Downie Jr. found himself at the nexus of historic events ranging from Watergate to 9/11 to the Clinton impeachment. Now, as the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, he finally has the time to put it all down in his just-released personal memoir, “All About the Story: News, Power, Politics and The Washington Post.” 


October 8th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Bookshelf
Bookshelf: A career journalist travels the U.S. to define “Genus Americanus”

Mark Twain once said that “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” It is those who never wander past their front door, who have the hardest time making sense of a world in constant evolution, where the status quo is a symbol of stagnation, rather than progress. 


October 5th, 2020 • Quill Blog, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz for 10/5: Anything but a slow news week

There have been no shortage of national news stories this week. But we’ve got some questions about the news behind the news. Good luck.   During its current session (which begins this week), the U.S. Supreme Court will review proposed changes to media ownership rules which have been stuck down by lower courts, but could lead to even greater consolidation if SCOTUS lets them stand.


September 28th, 2020 • Quill Blog, News Biz Quiz
News Biz Quiz for 9/28: A merger, a debate and more.

This week’s events in the media world have been far from trivial. But how much did you pick up on the details. Test yourself with these questions, culled from the headlines and beyond.   D.C. District Court Judge Carl Nichols has temporarily halted the Trump Administration from banning what social media app from U.S.