Student Journalism on the Edge

Student press supporters often claim that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” At a recent national journalism education conference, I noticed a different version of this quote. Outside the schoolhose gate, students express themselves too.

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Fourteen year old Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio, started a non-profit for pediatric cancer research after Malcolm watched his friends die next to him in the hospital. Malcolm and his mother brought the national angel quilt to Seattle, and coincidentally, were stationed at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. The journalism students and educators from JEA/NSPA  would pass his table several times each day.

 (bryan farley)

During the convention, I met with students from the Carlsbad High School Lancer Link. These students somehow operate inside the school gates with readers throughout the world. I was familiar with the publication before the teacher asked me to critique the publication. The students published several articles about a popular skate boarding location in Carlsbad, California.

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The Seattle convention was titled “Journalism on the Edge.” Perhaps the title should have indicated to students and journalism educators that discussions would continue beyond the gates of the Emerald City. Many people are still discussing Dan Savage’s keynote presentation. Depending on who you ask, Savage spoke about social media, bullying, religion and the impact of the It Gets Better Project.

 (bryan farley)

While many people will remember some convention controversy, I will remember Malcolm… alone with the quilt.

3 Responses to “Student Journalism on the Edge”

  1. Noelle Kobayashi says:

    Hi Malcolm you many not know me but my name is Noelle Kobayashi. I’m a highschool girl who went through the same thing you went through. 5 years ago I lost one of my really close friends to cancer and ever since then I have been trying to make a difference in oncology. Brian Farley asked me to read your story and see what I think about it so happily I went on this link and he gave me a great idea. Maybe we could start something here? Make something huge about cancer and never know what could happen, and I bet with Brian here, he can probably help us too? Anyways hope you hear from you soon. =) Thankyou for taking your time to read this.

    • Malcolm says:

      Hi Noelle,

      Great to hear from you. There are definitely ways you can help make some noise. We have our 1,000 Schools campaign, and other ways you can help. Email us and we can fill you in, ( There is also a volunteer interest form on our website you can fill out.


      • bryan farley says:


        Good to hear from you. Noelle will be excited to connect with you. I will follow her progress also and see what more we can do.

        I also heard from you mother. There were several news stories from Seattle. If you still have the links will you include them in a post? If I see any of our student publications publish anything, I will send you the links too.

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