A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


Quill Blog


September 15th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Bookshelf
Bookshelf: Brian Stelter’s “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth”

In order to understand Donald Trump, Brian Stelter argues in his new book, you have to understand Fox News.  Stelter, CNN chief media correspondent and anchor of “Reliable Sources,” put that view between covers in “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth,” for which he interviewed 140 current Fox staffers and 180 former employees.


September 10th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
SPJ2020: Virtual D.C. tours for a virtual conference 

SPJ’s Washington, D.C. Pro chapter was really looking forward to showing off the city during this year’s national conference.  But since you all can’t join us in person, we can at least offer  a few virtual highlights to give you a taste of D.C. 


September 9th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Freelancing
California freelancers battle AB5 and the PROAct

Assembly Bill 5, or AB5, ripped through the careers of California freelance journalists much like wildfires churn through the Golden State, turning trees and bushes into plumes of ash. I am one of the lucky ones, whose freelance career has been damaged, but not completely destroyed – yet.


September 4th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, From the President
From the President: Putting SPJ Fellows at the forefront

Throughout its 111 years of history, SPJ has created innumerable cherished traditions. Among them is the Fellows of the Society program, launched in 1948. In those 72 years the Society has named 214 fellows. Last year, at our annual fall convention, we honored Maria Ressa of Rappler, and retired Associated Press staffers Terry Anderson and Nick Ut, plus Jamal Khashoggi of The Washington Post posthumously.


September 1st, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog
As theaters reopen, film reviewers face critical decisions

As movie theaters start reopening in North America, the place deemed a sanctuary by audiences has become a potential hotbed for infections. Cinema chains and independents have developed new cleaning methods and plans for social distancing, but filmgoers can choose to stay home and wait for films to arrive on-demand or to appear on streaming platforms.


August 28th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Pulling up anchors: Hiring broadcast talent in COVID-19 times

The pandemic forced lots of changes to the collection and presentation of TV news. Sources, instead of pontificating to a visiting reporter, now chime in from their home offices via Zoom. And anchors, instead of literally rubbing elbows with their peers on the studio set, are just as likely to broadcast from home as well.


August 13th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Future of in-flight magazines remains up in the air

For decades, well-thumbed copies of inflight magazines were as much a fixture on commercial airliners as peanuts and absurdly tiny pillows. They typically nestled in seat-back pockets next to the barf bags, offering a few minutes of distraction to one of the most captive of captive audiences—fliers sealed inside a pressurized tube cruising at 40,000 feet.


August 11th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Bookshelf
Bookshelf: Investigative journalist Jean Guerrero’s “Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda”

Investigative journalist Jean Guerrero has spent years covering immigration in the United States. When the Trump administration implemented a family separation policy in 2018, she found parents who had committed no crimes or threats were still being separated.  She wanted to know why.


July 23rd, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Awards: Getting your best work recognized shouldn’t be an afterthought

Come 2021, it’s a safe bet some of the stories, web graphics, podcasts and editorial cartoons about COVID-19 will be honored with awards. The virus has spawned a crush of good journalism, and while such awards aren’t the highest priority, they can be important to a team’s morale.


June 26th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog
With fields and arenas empty, sports writers take on hard news

Normally, Ava Wallace can be found interviewing the Washington Wizards players for The Washington Post, but she recently covered a Black Lives Matter protest in Louisville when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd.   Alex Putterman, the University of Connecticut football beat writer at the Hartford Courant, hasn’t written a sports story in months.


June 11th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives, Diversity, Ten With...
10 with Nikole Hannah-Jones

When The New York Times Magazine writer Nikole Hannah-Jones pitched the 1619 Project to her editors last year, she didn’t know that people would drive 60 miles to get their hands on the issue the day it dropped or that a few thousand more would line the streets outside the paper’s office nearly two weeks later to snag a copy.


June 8th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Quill Archives
Hicks: Safety and self-care vital for front-line journalists

When police in Ferguson, Missouri, launched tear gas into a crowd of protesters in 2014, reporter Errin Haines was swept up in the ensuing stampede, prompting a man to usher her and another journalist to safety in his nearby home.  The man wasn’t a total stranger.


June 8th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Freedom of Information
Media relations controls marginalize the press … and the public 

As protests erupt in the wake of police brutality, one key point for journalists to remember is that many police agencies have enforced silence on police officers. And that creates an historically fearful secrecy.  In an SPJ-sponsored 2016 survey, 56% of police reporters said they can rarely or never interview a police officer without involving a department’s public information officer.


June 4th, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Ethics Toolbox
Ethics: Should journalists show the faces of protesters?

Taking photos or video of protesters and people marching or demonstrating in public spaces is a right afforded to journalists under the First Amendment. In the United States people have a right to information. Journalists help fulfill that right to information by responsibly reporting on what is happening in communities across the country.


June 3rd, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog
Police and protesters: Please let journalists do their jobs

Sunday night, around 9:30 p.m. in downtown Atlanta, I stopped next to a tree to try and gather my thoughts and decide where to go next. I was on assignment for The Washington Post covering the George Floyd protests and, while just an hour earlier there had been a lot of action with tear gas and fireworks in the streets, the city’s curfew went into effect at 9 and for the most part all was quiet.


June 2nd, 2020 • Featured, Quill Blog, Diversity
Emotional dam broken for black community, including black journalists

It’s really difficult to describe how distressing and exhausting the past week has been for many black people and black reporters — and far more difficult to explain why. But as a black man and a black journalist, I feel the need to try.