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May/June 2017
Volume 105, Number 3
View as PDF: Click to download


Behind Bars - And In SPJ
When Nancy Mullane said she thought the Society of Professional Journalists might accept a group of incarcerated men as members of a satellite chapter, I thought, “This woman is crazy.” No way would “Professional Journalists” accept men banned from society as colleagues. But it turns out, they have. ...

Lynn Walsh: SPJ challenges journalists to engage and inform
Broadway had a new star in late April: the SPJ Code of Ethics. In case you missed it, the SPJ Ethics Committee, led by Chairman Andrew Seaman and SPJ headquarters staff, launched a campaign that was front and center on jumbo screens in New York City’s Times Square. “Truthful, compassionate, independent, ...

'Payload': An Original Short Story By Novelist Jess Walter
Note: This original short story by author and former journalist Jess Walter comes as part of Quill’s “Journalists Not Being Journalists” series, encouraging creative pursuits by journalists outside the daily deadline. Walter first read it in April at the Pie & Whiskey event during the annual ...

Should I Go Into Journalism, Mr. Former Journalist And Successful Novelist?
When I give readings or lectures at colleges, after all the boring “future of the novel” talk, there’s always one student who looks around sheepishly and asks: “Would you go into journalism today?” I have been a novelist for almost 20 years, but I always credit my journalism background for my discipline, ...

Engagement: Buzzword No More
Newsrooms have heard for years now: engage, engage, engage. Build community. Connect. Interact. And maybe in so doing, you’ll get clicks that turn into dollars. Beyond the buzzwords, beyond the advice of so-called “gurus” and self-proclaimed experts, what does engagement – truly, practically, deeply ...

Power (Of Listening) To The Public
It’s a cliché for a reason. Money is the force that shapes decision-making in all businesses – for-profit, non-profit and everything else. And every newsrooms is, of course, a business. But while journalists are instructed to “follow the money” in their reporting – revealing power structures and ...

Beyond Buzzwords And (Tote) Bags
Journalists from newsrooms of all sizes can learn a lot more from public and community broadcasting than how to hawk tote bags during the annual pledge drive. Public broadcasting “has traditionally pressed for close connections with listeners — encouraging them as volunteers, inviting their participation ...

Ten with Angelo Lopez
Angelo Lopez came to California in 1974 and hasn’t left. It wasn’t a gold rush that brought him, but he did live the somewhat nomadic lifestyle of a prospector moving from place to place as a self-described “Navy brat.” Born in Norfolk, Virginia, to Filipino parents, he spent his youth on military ...

Journalism Is In Amanda Womac's Nature
Born and raised in Appalachia, Amanda Womac is no stranger to the great outdoors. She’s grown up with strong ties to the land, water and mountains she calls home. Science and environmental journalism came naturally to her. Originally an environmental activist, she was pursuing a degree in creative ...

Documentary Short Filmmaking For J-Students
When the Center for Media & Social Impact asked Sundance filmmaker Laura Poitras if she was a filmmaker, a journalist or both, she responded, “It’s journalism plus.” The director of the Edward Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” is a self-professed visual journalist. In an ever-changing media landscape, ...

Editorial Partnerships Are Great, But Beware Potential Pitfalls
People are told since childhood to be cautious about the company they keep. Parents don’t want their children hanging with the proverbial bad kids or those known to make trouble. The old adage is important to remember as journalists and news organizations become increasingly involved with various collaborations. Partnerships ...

Freelancing: You Can, Sometimes, Get What You Want
“Unless you know exactly what you want, you’re sure not to get it.” I could attempt to diagram that sentence. Instead, I’ll explain how this nugget of advice became a cornerstone of my freelance business — and how it can help yours. Those words stuck with me for years after meeting a friend ...

Storytelling: After Reporting, Pause And Process Before Writing
After more than 18 months of reporting, the top of my desk was crowded with files containing notes, observations and transcripts of multiple interviews. Now it was time to stop reporting and begin writing. My hands hovered over the keyboard. Hmm, better get some coffee. I returned to my desk. Wait, ...

Writing: Keeping Modifiers In Their Place
Mistakes with modifiers are common in media writing. But they’re also easy to recognize and remedy. Most can reside comfortably under the heading “misplaced.” That’s what usually goes wrong with errant modifiers, whether they dangle or squint: They end up in the wrong place. Modifiers are optional ...

Access: Lots Of Unfortunate Arresting Developments For Journalists
Reporters sometimes get arrested or detained. (Or in the case of Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs covering a congressional election in Montana, “body-slammed.”) It ...

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