The Quill

The Quill is a magazine focusing on Social Sciences

Articles from Vol. 89, No. 3, April

A Beacon of Truth
When the easy-to-find story threatens to obscure the real issues, keep your eye on the truth. I wanted to be a writer when I was in high school. I wanted to find the truth and show it to everyone. But my mother wondered where I'd get a job, and my parents...
A Moment of Silence, Please
After more than six years, policies restricting access to drivers' records will become a reality in every state. Call this column an obituary. After seven years of struggle, the public's right to inspect an entire class of public records will have virtually...
Arm's-Length Coverage Falls Short
In your rush to report the news, don't ignore the people for whom you are reporting. There seems to be a lot of concern these days that news media are losing touch with their respective audiences. Now, I don't profess to be a managed ment expert, but...
Book Sales Benefit SPJ
Improve your writing and support the Society's Quill endowment. Here's a situation where everyone truly does win. Many years ago, when SPJ was still known as Sigma Delta Chi, a group of members created the Quill Endowment. When our Sigma Delta Chi Foundation...
California Power Woes Hit Newspapers Hard
Five years ago, The Orange County Register made a pact with South California Edison to turn its power off during electricity crises - then very rare - in an effort to save on power bills. But now, in the middle of a statewide energy crisis, officials...
Chapter Examines How KSU Case Was Won
The Bluegrass Pro Chapter in Frankfort, Ky., recently sponsored a panel discussion a controversy surrounding a Kentucky State University yearbook. Principal players in this landmark case on student press freedoms served as panelists for the Feb. 28 event...
Civic Journalism: Still Hanging On
FROM THE ETHICS CHAIR You may not solve them, but at least give as much time to possible solutions as you do the problems. When we were tossing around some ideas for this ethics edition of Quill, the words "civic journalism" somehow escaped into the...
Code of Ethics
Preamble Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy.The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive...
Community Connections
NEWS EXECUTIVES DISCUSS THE ISSUES SURROUNDING COMMUNITY JOURNALISM This is the ninth in a series of case studies exploring how top media managers make difficult decisions. The best of times or the worst of times? Newspaper publishers and other top managers...
Corporate Climbers Leave Public Behind
Get off the ladder and out of the newsroom become a better journalist by taking time off. I have a serious proposal for the journalists who work for national news organizations: get out of the business. No, not permanently, just for one year out of every...
Covering the Human Genome Project
This backgrounder examines some unanswered questions and ethical issues involved in the recent completion of a major phase of the Human Genome Project. In the giddy atmosphere following this summer's announcement that two teams of scientists had produced...
Deaths
War reporter and travel writer Gavin Young died Jan. 18 at 72. The cause of death was not announced. For 30 years, Young reported on trouble spots for The Observer, a British weekly newspaper, covering events in Vietnam, Angola, Yemen and Congo. Young...
Documents Show Gannett Paid Chiquita $14 Million
Gannett's expensive, embarrassing outof-court settlement with Chiquita Brands International was finally disseminated through the media in January as a judge refused for the second time to dismiss the civil suit filed by former editor of the Cincinnati...
Election Night Reforms Need to Go a Step Further
More scrutiny and newer computers for VNS don't eliminate the need for another source of raw data. Just in case the wounds weren't fresh enough, the congressional committee brought a blooper reel. Here were the blown projections, the retractions, the...
Focus on Work and Learning
It takes more than a college degree to make a journalist. I've spent my career at community newspapers, and I have seen countless beginning reporters struggle to get a foothold in newsrooms where editors are too harried to talk and the expectations for...
Gore Classes Spur Talk on Students' Free Speech
On Feb. 6, former Vice President Al Gore's lecturer debut at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was officially "off the record," a decision that drew criticism for placing the future journalists in the odd position of being privy to...
Headlines
NEWS OF OFFICIAL SOCIETY ACTIONS * Feb. 23 Society denounces Zimbabwe's violence against journalists INDIANAPOLIS -The Society of Professional Journalists is calling for Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to stop a growing campaign against journalists...
Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame Inducts Four Noted Professionals
GREENCASTLE, Ind. -- The Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame is inducting four new members during its April 7 induction ceremony. Journalists to be inducted are. * John Bushemi, a Gary native, was a photographer for the Gary Post-Tribune when he joined the...
Life after J-School
Many recent graduates found themselves unprepared for the pressures of the real world. When Jonathan Nelson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin this past spring, he thought he was prepared for whatever might be ahead. He had his journalism...
Magazine Industry Hits Tough Times
The first quarter of 2001 was a cruel one for the magazine industry, where hard times have spurred layoffs, advertising policy changes, publication sales and closings. Especially hard-hit were the magazines now under the stewardship of AOL Time Warner...
New York Times Makes Cyber-Deals, Sells Mags
The New York Times Co. unveiled plans to enter into deals with two Internet companies in the first quarter of 2001, even while planning to slash 17 percent of its own digital unit's work force. The Times Co. started the year by selling the more than...
Our Decisions Change Lives
Sources, subjects and colleagues deserve our respect as we carefully consider the effects of our coverage. Love the truth. Don't cut corners. Those two short, simple sentences should serve as a creed for all journalists. They're from a memo that Steve...
Paper Sparks Debate by Interviewing 'Arsonist'
A young journalist unexpectedly found himself at the center of an ethical firestorm when the Phoenix New Times, a weekly alternative newspaper, published his lengthy newspaper interview with a man who claims he's one of those responsible for a series...
Passion and Purpose for the Ethnic Press
Ethnic papers continue to serve an important role in the communities they cover. They crusade against social injustices. They stimulate a sense of cultural pride in a people. They articulate the very essence of their community. They are the nation's...
People and Places
As its joint operating agreement with the Rocky Mountain News became official on Jan. 22, The Denver Post's parent company, MediaNews Group Inc., announced several management reorganization moves: MediaNews said that executive vice president and chief...
Radio Chavez: The Press and the President of Venezuela
DANGEROUS ASSIGNMENTS: CPJ ON PRESS FREEDOM ISSUES Editor's note: The following article is excerpted from a special report in `Attacks on the Press in 2000," published March 2001 by the Committee to Protect Journalists and available online at www.cpj.org....
Reporter Doesn't Have to Hand over Notes
The Washington state Court of Appeals made a precedent-setting ruling on Feb. 5 that a reporter's notes were privileged and confidential, overturning an earlier order by a King County Superior Court judge that the notes be given to plaintiff attorneys...
Show, Don't Tell
Use clear, descriptive words to paint a picture in readers' minds. The worst description I ever read was by a novelist whose work appears regulady on best-seller lists. She sized up World War II this way: "The war was just terrible." Well, yes. Why is...
SPJ Web Site to Get Face-Lift
Redesign, redevelopment of www.spj.org to be ready by mid-summer INDIANAPOLIS -- The Society of Professional Journalists National Headquarters will redesign and redevelop the Society's Web site, www.spj.org. It is still too early to give a full run-down...
Use Criticism to Create Discussion
Carry on the ideas in this issue to future conversations. Criticism is sometimes a difficult thing to take. This is true for anyone, but it seems especially true for journalists. Perhaps it is because we find ourselves the object of criticism on a fairly...
Weighing Public Perception
Polling data is a valuable reporting resource. Follow these suggestions for using it wisely. The public opinion survey is one of the most powerful tools of modern political campaigns. In democracies the size and scale of the United States, polling is...
We Need Ethics Examples
Today's news media offer few role models for students studying journalism ethics. You ought to feel sorry for me. I teach an undergraduate course in journalism ethics at a time when ethics seems to matter less and less in the conduct of professional...