A Magazine by the Society of Professional Journalists


Education Toolbox


November 10th, 2016 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

On a warm summer night, I’m volunteering at the check-in desk at a community event. During a lull, I chat with a fellow volunteer. As often happens, the topic turns to work. After learning I’m a professor, he asks what I teach.


February 17th, 2016 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

Last fall, college journalists across the country reported about diversity issues on campus, sometimes involving classmates raising awareness of racism, discrimination and threats. These issues came to our campus at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., with an unprecedented action: The administration canceled classes for one day, concerned about threats on social media toward students of color.


December 15th, 2015 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

Educators use YouTube for education videos (think Kahn Academy), and media students and advisers are uploading broadcast videos to YouTube every day. Yet more educators — as a staff or individually — need to encourage students to use the medium as a means to gain valuable skills in journalism while they have fun.


October 22nd, 2015 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

In 2014, SPJ’s Journalism Education Committee conducted research into the state of high school journalism, and we uncovered several intriguing issues. Many programs are thriving, but others were troubling. Some lack support from local journalists and/or administrations, and nearly a third of all administrators conduct prior review of all publications.


August 17th, 2015 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

The Bible can serve as a rich resource for journalists, providing references ranging from “apple of your eye” (Psalm 17) to Zacchaeus (Luke 19). In some newsrooms and classrooms, though, biblical concepts can get lost in translation. Here are six potential pitfalls: 1.


April 3rd, 2015 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

When Colorado and Washington state began legal retail sales of marijuana in 2014, student newsrooms, like the one I advise at Colorado State University-Pueblo, were undoubtedly home to animated discussions about the implications legal pot have on advertising. Now that voters in Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C.,


February 3rd, 2015 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

When more than 6 feet of snow fell on and around Buffalo, N.Y., in November, television stations and news websites used aerial video for an immersive perspective of the storm. One particular flyover video from WKBW took viewers through a suburban winter wonderland where houses, cars and trees were buried under a dense blanket of snow.


December 9th, 2014 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

You must know how to do it all. It is a mantra that is sounded throughout journalism and mass communication programs across the country. Student journalists hear those words time and time again. Educators are constantly reminding their students to be skilled at working with audio, text, video and photography in order to be prepared and to be adept at working in a converged media environment.


October 22nd, 2014 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

Research show the people known as the millennial generation usually do not read news in print. Newspapers fall far, far behind social media, Comedy Central and other sources. The most recent Pew Research Center biennial news consumption survey shows that even with news available 24/7 through a variety of outlets, 29 percent of the millennial generation are “newsless” As journalism faculty, it’s frustrating in a reporting class to ask students what news they are reading and the answer comes back: “The news apps on my phones.


September 2nd, 2014 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

Whenever I hear the call for journalism schools to be like teaching hospitals, I can’t help but picture an editing professor bellowing to student reporters in scrubs, “We’re losing this story. Get me 20 CCs of active voice — stat!” Jokes aside, we’ve been hearing a lot lately about the teaching hospital model and other prescriptions for reforming journalism education.


June 20th, 2014 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

Detroit Free Press reporter Jim Schaefer is well known for winning a Pulitzer after uncovering the scandals of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. At the April SPJ Region 4 conference, Schaefer shared those reporting experiences and many others with a roomful of aspiring journalists.


April 9th, 2014 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

It’s a challenge for even some of the most seasoned TV reporters: having an authoritative yet approachable delivery as they “track” or narrate a story. Also hard: appearing at ease during the on-camera portion of the story, commonly known as the stand-up.


February 12th, 2014 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

During the last week of classes in the fall 2013 term, I told my students about five myths perpetuated within the School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University and outside it. One of the myths was “multitasking,” more specifically that the current generation of students is a “multitasking generation” capable of deftly juggling multiple skills and tasks.


December 20th, 2013 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

The end of the year turns the attention of advisers and students to journalism contests — or at least it should. Veterans in advising, judging and winning share these eight contest tips: 1) GO FOR IT Michael Koretzky, contest coordinator and SPJ Region 3 director, said the biggest “do” is to enter the categories as a longshot.


October 16th, 2013 • Quill Archives, Education Toolbox
Education Toolbox

I found myself yelling “Amen, Brother!” and “You said it!” while reading Timothy McCarty’s “Education Toolbox” column on valuing student media (Quill, May/June 2013). I, too, receive dozens of requests from organizations offering “a great learning experience” by having students produce (usually free) videos for them.


September 5th, 2013 • Education Toolbox, Narrative Writing Toolbox
Education Toolbox

Just when curriculums started getting their arms around multimedia storytelling — a slow and sometimes painful journey — a new bully showed up in the schoolyard: data. Not that the idea of telling compelling stories using data is new. It’s not.