3GJ313 Media Representation

All versions:
3GJ313 (2024—2025)
3GJ313 (2023—2024)
3GJ313 (2022—2023)
3GJ313 (2021—2022)
3GJ313 (2020—2021)
3GJ313 (2019—2020)
3GJ313 (2018—2019)
3GJ313 (2017—2018)

Course code: 3GJ313

Course name: Media Representation

Semester: Spring

Location: Kristiansand

Academic year: 2018–2019

Language: English

Credits: 10 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

3GJ303 Research Methodology

Relevance within study programme

GJ 313 Media Representation is an optional course in the MA Programme in Global Journalism at NLA University College and is takes place in the second semester of the programme.


GJ 313 Media Representation focuses on understanding how culture influences interpretation and representation. For journalists it is important to acknowledge how cultural socialization and worldview influence and effect the way one understands and reports about different situations. Insights from semiotics, post-colonial studies and social anthropology will shed light on how the others are represented. Through this course the students are given methods and tools to analyze intercultural media representation.

The course is divided into two main parts, where the first part focuses on how culture and societies are constructed. The purpose of learning about how cultures and societies are constructed is to show that a journalist's background and experiences influences the understanding and interpretation of a situation and context. The interpretation of a situation influences the representation of it. For journalists, whose goal is to truthfully report situations and realities, it is important to acknowledge and take into account the role of culture, recognizing that the same situation can be understood and interpreted differently. The importance of epistemology and ontology will be presented and discussed.

The second part of the course elaborates on the idea of representation and otherness. Edward Said–s idea of orientalism is presented to get a historical presentation of this. The course will also deal with how media portrays and presents certain groups or communities. These issues will be discussed in relation to power structures and under-representation.

Learning outcomes descriptors


The student:

  • can identify and explain major issues in media representation
  • can explain common concepts used in culture theory and relevant literature in this field
  • has knowledge of the theories of representation, otherness, epistemology and ontology


The student:

  • can discuss the idea of representation in a historical and current context
  • can by using an analytical approach detect various representation of others and discuss this in light of relevant theory

General competence

The student:

  • is able to identify potential challenges when reporting from different cultural contexts and how to apply sufficient skills to report in line with journalistic values


Course details

GJ 313–1: Construction of culture and society

The first section of the course deals with fundamental issues related to culture and society and how humans are influenced by these issues in their interpretation of reality.

GJ 313–2: Representation and otherness in a historical perspective

The second section of the course discusses the idea of representation, focusing especially on media representation. A historical approach is taken to show how history influences our current situation and representation.

Teaching and learning methods

The course is delivered by means of lectures and seminars. The seminars are mainly student-led. Because several students in the programme are expected to be abroad for studies at partnership institutions during the semester when the course is offered, the exact teaching arrangement will be determined when the number of participants is settled


250 -300 hours.

Coursework requirements

Compulsory components Lectures in GJ 313 are not compulsory, but students are encouraged to be present in order to create a fertile learning environment. The written assignment and the oral exam are compulsory. In addition a pre-course reflection paper (following certain guidelines) is compulsory.

Final assessment

The assessment of GJ 313 comprises two parts:

  • 4000 word written assignment/paper (51 % of the final grade)
  • 30 minute oral exam covering relevant issues in the field of media representation (49 % of the final grade)

Permitted aids under examination

 !. Written assignment/paper 2. Oral exam

Grading, examination

Both parts shall be individual work and are assessed according to the standard A–F grading system. One final grade is given for the course.

Assessment language




Course evaluation

Annually course evaluation in accordance with the quality assurance system for NLA University College. Students may also give their feedback on the course in the student group/ in class.


Total reading: Approx. 680 pp.

GJ 313-1: Construction of culture and society


  • Berger, Peter L. and Thomas Luckmann (1966) Social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York : Anchor Books. (200 pp.)
  • Elder-Vass, Dave (2012) The reality of social construction. Cambridge University Press. (280 pp.)

GJ 313-2: Representation and otherness in a historical perspective


  • Ahmed, Saifuddin and Jörg Matthes (2016) Media representation of Muslims and Islam from 2000 to 2015: A meta-analysis. The International Communication Gazette, online ahead of print. (26 pp.).
  • Faimau, Gabriel (2015) The conflictual model of analysis in studies on the media representation of Islam and Muslims: A critical review. Social Compass 9(5): 321-335.
  • Gullestad, Marianne (2007) Picturing pity: Pitfall and pleasures in cross-cultural communication. Image and word in a North Cameroon mission. New York: Berghahn Books. Pp. 1-35.
  • Kapuscinski, Ryszard (2008) The other. London: Verso. (104 pp.)
  • Orgad, Shani (2012) Media representation and the global imagination. Cambridge: Polity Press. Pp. 15-51.