3GJ312 Global Media Ethics

All versions:
3GJ312 (2024—2025)
3GJ312 (2023—2024)
3GJ312 (2022—2023)
3GJ312 (2021—2022)
3GJ312 (2020—2021)
3GJ312 (2019—2020)
3GJ312 (2018—2019)
3GJ312 (2017—2018)

Course code: 3GJ312

Course name: Global Media Ethics

Semester: Spring

Location: Kristiansand

Academic year: 2022–2023

Language: English

Credits: 10 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the MA Programme in Global Journalism

Relevance within study programme

GJ 312 Global Media Ethics is an optional course in the MA Programme in Global Journalism at NLA University College and takes place in the second semester of the programme.


GJ 312 Global Media Ethics covers both the broader field of media ethics, which regards overall ethical and philosophical issues arising from media communication on a general level, and the more defined field of journalism ethics, which regards the question of ethics and good behaviour in professional media work.

A crosscutting theme of the course is the question of universals and differences in Global Journalism and media ethics. Major ethical frameworks will be addressed, and examples will be given of professional approaches in different societies and under different conditions. Particular attention will be given to the problem of relativism and the discussion of culturally bound models in journalism/media/communication ethics. For example, several scholars have called for a uniquely African approach to professional media practice in the African context, exemplified by an ethical framework based on the ubuntu philosophy. Others warn against tendencies of essentialism and cultural exceptionalism which they claim is a fallacy of culturally bound ethical frameworks. This will form an important discussion in the course.

Additionally, the course will entertain practical ethical issues raised by local and global media practice, including ethics related to social and new media practices.

Learning outcomes descriptors


The student:

  • can identify and explain major approaches to media ethics
  • can explain common concepts used in the global media ethics literature
  • has knowledge of various cultural-specific ethical frameworks


The student:

  • can discuss universal and cultural-specific aspects of media ethics and argue for a preferred approach
  • is able to consider different aspects of potentially problematic media practices using ethical reasoning

General competence

The student:

  • can identify and discuss ethical approaches to the media and journalism in a given society, between societies, and from a global perspective


Course details

GJ 312–1: Theoretical foundation

The first section of the course treats fundamental issues related to media and journalism ethics, including the problem of ethical relativism and the discussion of universals and particulars in media ethics.

GJ 312–2: Global experiences and alternative frameworks

The second section of the course discusses ethical experiences from various media societies around the world. Particular attention is given to identifying and assessing proposed cultural-specific frameworks relating to journalism and media ethics.

GJ 312–3: Current issues

The third section of the course focuses on practical ethical issues emanating from the contemporary media situation. Emphasis is placed on issues pertaining to digital media and citizen participation; global crisis and conflict reporting; and the debate concerning fake news.

Teaching and learning methods

The course has an introductory week with intensive teaching from Monday to Friday. The remaining six weeks of the course have weekly lectures. Online connection is available for the weekly lectures, but not for the introductory week.


250-300 hours.

Coursework requirements

Compulsory components

Lectures in GJ 312 are not compulsory, but students are encouraged to be present in order to create a fertile learning environment. The written exam and the assignment are compulsory.

Final assessment


The assessment of GJ 312 comprises two parts:

  • 4000 word written assignment/paper (51 % of the final grade)
  • 30 minute oral exam covering issues within global media ethics (49 % of the final grade)

Permitted aids under examination

1. Written assignment: All

2. Oral exam: None

Grading, examination

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

Assessment language

English or a Nordic 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.

Available for Course Students


Digital reading list

Follow this link for reading list and academic resources.