MJ5200 Climate journalism, theory and practice Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Klimajournalistikk, teori og praksis
Study programme
Masterstudium i medieutvikling / Masterstudium i medieutvikling, deltid / Masterstudium i journalistikk, deltid
Year of study
Course history


Climate change and the environment are closing in on society in both space and time, becoming a relevant dimension of ever more areas of life. Significant transformations need to take place over the next decade and here journalism will have a key role to play. This course will help students pursue both the theoretical and practical development of climate journalism, including the understanding of its own role in society, in a time of declared and perceived crisis.

Required preliminary courses


Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student should have the following overall learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • has advanced interdisciplinary knowledge of climate change, and the societal/psychological/communicational challenges for climate journalism
  • has thorough knowledge of both the difficulties and the possibilities of climate change communication in the media and in journalism


The student

  • is able to critically analyze different perceptions and experiences of global climate change in the media
  • is able to relate these differences to the global and universal dimensions of climate change for the past, present and future of humanity and life on earth
  • can explain and communicate climate change journalistically, with insights from both environmental communication, climate psychologies and perspectives on social change
  • can convey climate change journalistically as a dimension to a host of different climate change stories
  • can find new and innovative ways to approach global climate change

General competence

The student

  • is able to understand the basics of global climate change, with the help of knowledge from both the natural, social and human sciences.
  • is well qualified to approach climate change as a justice issue, for example between the North and South, the developed and the developing world
  • is well qualified to discuss ethical questions in both science and journalism
  • has acquired journalistic skills of combining observations of different experiences of climate change with broader, theoretical perspectives

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be based on two to three gatherings of 2-5 days at Oslo Metropolitan University, including lectures, exercises and group work. One of the gatherings, or part of one gathering, may also entail field work/excursions.

Course requirements

The following coursework requirements must have been approved in order for the student to take the exam:

  • Coursework 1: Present a text from the reading list in a plenary session of the course where the curricula will be discussed. 5-10 PowerPoint slides. 
  • Coursework 2: Hand in a term paper draft once during the gatherings. The length of this term paper is 5-10 pages. 

The purpose of these work requirements is to ensure progress in both the readings of the curricula and the work with the term paper. All required coursework must be completed and approved by the given deadline in order for the student to take the exam. If one or more coursework requirements have not been approved, the student will be given the opportunity to submit an improved version one time by the given deadline. If the student does not meet the set deadline(s), the student loses the possibility to hand in the paper/hold the presentation, and thereby loses to right to sit for the exam. In case of illness or other valid reasons for absence, the teacher can set an individual deadline for the course requirements.

There are no mandatory activities in the course, with the exception of the above mentioned work requirements.


For the main assessment, the students may choose one of two individual term papers.


  • A reportage relevant to climate change, followed by a reflection paper that discusses and analyzes the textual material theoretically helped by the syllabus. Length: 12 - 15 pages. Font and font size: Arial or Calibri 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5.


  • An analytic, theory-based paper investigating a limited media output where global climate change is covered in a particular way. Length: 12-15 pages. Font and font size: Arial or Calibri 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5.

The term papers may be written in Norwegian or English.

Permitted exam materials and equipment

All aids are permitted, as long as the rules for source referencing are complied with.

Grading scale

Grade scale A-F


All term papers will be assessed by an evaluation committee consisting of both an internal and an external examiner.

Admission requirements

A bachelor's degree. The minimum academic requirement for admission is the grade C, in accordance with Regulations Relating to Admission to Master's Degree Programmes at OsloMet.