When Zachary Goldstein, contributing writer for the Florida State View, traveled to Dauphin Island on the Gulf Coast to cover the oil spill for his first big assignment, he knew it wouldn't be easy.
Covering an environmental disaster can be difficult for student journalists -- not only do they have to work on nailing a really great story, but they have to consider everything from personal safety to dealing with emotionally traumatized sources.
Some journalists have found that when it comes to scholarships, it's not a matter of financial need or academic qualifications, but of who you know. But getting at that information has required surmounting some freedom-of-information roadblocks.
Ride-alongs with police officers can be effective in giving reporter's an insider's view of the police department and its operations, but there are ethical and legal considerations student journalists should be aware of before embarking on one.
Although it has been three years since Ocean County College settled a First Amendment lawsuit brought by three student journalists, former staff members claim most of the settlement terms were never met.
Journalists are trained to value and defend freedom of speech for everyone, even those with extreme views whose opinions may offend listeners. But when speakers use the student media to mock or criticize minority groups, student journalists have faced backlash from their campuses that can put college financial support at risk.
College journalists are accustomed to facing angry letters, nasty e-mails and dirty looks from the campus officials they cover. But lately, some have been faced with a much more intimidating response to their newsgathering: disciplinary charges before student conduct boards.
With duct taped mouths and signs sporting slogans such as ''No Newspaper, No Voice,'' students at Fremont High School protested the school's decision to cancel the journalism class for the 2010-2011 school year.
Budget problems are hitting college newspapers hard, and the motives behind them are sometimes ambiguous, with money woes used as a smokescreen for penalizing editorial content.
With the increasing move toward online journalism, high schools across the country are struggling to find a balance between teaching journalism for the Web while also responding to parents' safety concerns.