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: 2024–2025

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

3GJ312 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 narrower field of journalism ethics, which regards the question of ethics and good behaviour in professional media work.

The course will deal with issues in meta-ethics as well as in applied ethics. Major ethical frameworks will be addressed, including utilitarian, virtue, discourse, communitarian and Christian ethics. One of the basic issues in the course is the question of universals and differences in global journalism and media ethics, in the light of religious and worldview diversity. Examples will be given of professional approaches in different societies and under different conditions.

In applied ethics, the course will consider codes and mechanisms for acountability, as well as specific areas of difficulty, such as fairness, privacy, independence, the handling of sources, harm, misinformation and others. Attention will be given to new challenges emerging from new developments like social media and AI.

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 use ethical reasoning to consider different dilemmas that may arise in media practice and argue for a preferred approach

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


3GJ312-1: 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.

3GJ312-2: 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.

3GJ312-3: 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 misinformation.

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

A short (800 word) essay will be required for purposes of formative assessment and feedback.

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved/not approved

Final assessment

The assessment of 3GJ312 comprises two parts:

  • 4000 word written assignment/paper (51% of the final grade)
  • 30 minute oral exam (49% of the final grade)

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.

Permitted aids under examination

1. Written assignment: All

2. Oral exam: None

Assessment language

English or a Nordic language



Course evaluation

Annual 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 as Single Course