At the end of each school year, adviser Greg Stobbe sends in The Feather so scholastic press associations critique and judge the campus paper. The Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society awarded the International First Place plaque to The Feather staff during October. The honor was for the for the 2002-2003 school year.
“The satisfying part of advising staff writers is training students who really want to learn how to advance their skills,” Greg Stobbe, Feather adviser, said. “Winning awards is just a natural outcome for their hard work. It’s fun to sit back and watch them succeed.”
Quill and Scroll was organized to provide encouragement and recognize individual student achievement in journalism as well as other scholastic publications. Their magazine carries up-to-date and authoritative information about careers in journalism and developments in the field or journalism teaching.
The Society also provides publication critiques for schools that have a Quill and Scroll charter. To be eligible for a charter, high schools must publish a magazine, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, broadcast program or a web site.
Quill and Scroll judges comment about strengths and weaknesses of a newspaper and make suggestions for a better publication. Campus journalism has been a member of Quill and Scroll since 1991.
“For a small Christian paper, The Feather staff does an exceptional job, especially on such a small budget,” an anonymous Quill and Scroll judge said. “I particularly applaud the staff’s desire for an internet paper- in keeping with the Information Age. Congratulations to a dedicated staff and adviser.”
Judges for the Columbia Scholastic Press Association also critiqued The Feather in October, pointing out different problems and areas for improvement throughout the paper.
“Your publication’s strengths lie in the tight, clean, visually pleasing layout design and in your good tonal range in you photos,” an anonymous CSPA judge said. “One major problem, [alluded to throughout the critique], is the tendency to editorialize–allow the writer’s opinion to come through in the quotations. It is easy to allow editorializing to happen, and it takes diligent editing to remove it from the text.
“Both news and feature articles would be improved by the addition of sidebars- graphs, surveys, related articles, checklists, charts, diagrams, ect. For every article, there should be an illustration- not necessarily a photo or drawing, but some visual component to clarify information and draw the reader into the story. Think about what you look at first in a newspaper- photos, headlines, sidebars, graphics. These guide your reading.”
The CSPA gave the journalism staff a silver medal to their collection of awards. Eight members of The Feather staff also traveled to New York during March to attend classes at Columbia University during the CSPA conference. See the May 2003 online article “Journalism trip to NYC highlights year” by Tim Gomez in the archives for more information on the conference.
Along with winning various awards, nine individual articles by seven staff writers have been recognized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors [ASNE] on the National Edition online paper in the past six weeks.
The National Edition online paper is a collection of stories from across the country. Stories are chosen based on quality and the appeal to a broad teen readership. The editors look for work that adheres to sound journalistic practices. The online edition can be found at www.myhighschooljournalism.org/nationaledition.
Anne Hierholzer, ’05, was chosen to be on the National Edition for her article written with Sarah Parker, “Passion, enthusiasm highlights grocery trip.”
“It’s an honor to be chosen for the National Edition,” Hierholzer said. “It’s nice to be able to go online and read other articles and to see what other schools are doing.”
To learn more about the Quill and Scroll Honorary Society go to www.uiowa.edu/