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.