You want something a step above the point-and-shoot camera. Look for something that has "aperture priority" and "shutter priority". If it has those two features, it will also have all the bells and whistles you will need.

The next important question is "what is you budget"?

For learning photojournalism, a camera with 3 megapixels and 3x zoom is sufficient.

The lowest price intermediate cameras would be the Canon A75 and the Kodak 7440. Either one, a good choice.

Next price range is broader and has more cameras to choose from:
Canon - A80, S60, G5
Olympus - 5060
Nikon - 5400, 5700
Sony - V1

The Next price range is the 8 megapixel cameras:
Canon - Pro-1
Konica/Minolta - A2
Nikon - 8700
Olympus - 8080
Sony - 828

The next price range is the SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras with interchangeable lenses. Prices above $1,000.