MJ4401 Media in war, crisis and conflict Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Media in war, crisis and conflict
Masterstudium i medieutvikling / Masterstudium i medieutvikling, deltid / Masterstudium i journalistikk, deltid
10 stp.


The media are influential in raising awareness and building knowledge of conflicts and wars, and increasingly also become part of/are used in various conflicts. This course brings together theory and practice to explore the possibilities and challenges involved in contemporary reporting of peace and conflict. Whereas new technologies mean increased surveillance and enhanced disinformation processes, they may also involve new possibilities for journalists covering crisis and conflict. The minority and gender dimensions of conflict reporting will be of particular interest to discussions of whose perspectives we actually get to hear or see through the news media. Parts of the course reflect upon how in times of war, crisis and conflict, the dangers media workers are exposed to are more imminent than in ordinary times, and focus on what individuals and institutions can do to limit such dangers.




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


The student

  • has acquired knowledge of theories on media and conflict

  • has acquired a deeper understanding of the role of media and journalism in conflict and crises, including how certain actors may use online disinformation to suppress human rights and undermine the trust to media

  • has reached a deeper knowledge of the challenges for journalistic safety during crises and conflicts


The student

  • can use appropriate theories and methods in journalism and media studies to analyze issues of conflict coverage and reveal various approaches to peace and conflict

  • is able to communicate key issues in the research area media and conflict and the current challenges to and possibilities for quality crisis and conflict reporting

  • can inspire colleagues and students to reflect on the importance of physical and digital safety and improve professional competence concerning the digital and physical safety of those who produce journalism accordingly

General competence

The student 

  • is able to analyze professional and occupational issues in the field of media and conflict

  • is well qualified to present academic as well as journalistic material and is able to give and receive constructive criticism and response

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The course includes lectures, seminars and group work.  The course will be organized as two seminar weeks, with the following topics:

  • General theories on media, crisis and conflicts

  • War, peace and human rights

  • Physical and digital safety when covering crises and conflicts

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

No course requirements.

Vurdering og eksamen

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


  • An analytic, theory-based paper of 12-15 pages within the thematic field of the course. Font and font size: Arial or Calibri 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5.The topic can be freely chosen within the frames of the course and in agreement with the course supervisor.


  • A reportage selecting a topic within the general framework of the course in agreement with the course supervisor. The reportage has to be developed either in digital or print format (5-6 pages. plus photos), radio (7-8 minutes), TV (4 minutes) or photo (approximately 8 photos) followed by a reflection paper, 5-8 pages, discussing the textual material on a theoretical level supported by the course syllabus. Font and font size reflection paper: Arial or Calibri 12 points. Line spacing: 1.5.

Both alternatives may be written in either English or Norwegian (or another Scandinavian language). For the reportage term paper, the student is encouraged to seek cooperation with a newsroom. Both exam alternatives can be solved individually or in cooperation with one other student. 

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

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


Grade scale A-F


The exam papers are assessed by one internal and one external examiner. At least 25% of the exam papers will be assessed by two examiners. The grades awarded for the papers assessed by two examiners form the basis for determining the level for all the exam papers


Kristin Skare Orgeret