Master in Global Journalism

Programme code:
Programme name:
Master in Global Journalism
Start of study:
2019 Autumn
120 ECTS Credits
Master’s Degree
Start semester:

Qualification awarded

Master's degree


Journalism is becoming increasingly global, both as a profession and as an area of study. More than ever, media production is a transnational undertaking where journalists and media content cross cultural and geographical boundaries. In the global exchange taking place, journalists could be viewed as both observers and participants. They are not just deliverers of news and information, they also shape them.

While modern media society is becoming more globalized, it is also evident that societies around the world develop their own media cultures, often in opposition to dominant Western media logics. Thus, in order to understand journalism in a globalized world, it is not sufficient to study transnational news exchange; one also has to analyse the development of local journalism culture in relation to the global media society. These diverse perspectives are but some of the areas which belong to the study of global journalism.

What is global journalism?

'Global journalism' is increasingly used to refer to an aspect of contemporary journalism. However, the term is applied somewhat differently in different contexts and may not always mean the same thing. One way to understand 'global journalism' is simply to make it mean transnational news exchange, particularly of the kind that large international news networks and agencies engage in, such as CNN and Reuters. In this meaning, global journalism could be seen as the counterpart to local or national journalism. Studies within this approach are interested in finding out how international journalism is practiced (e.g. by foreign correspondents) and how globalization affects journalism in light of for example economic and technological advances.[1]

Another way to understand `global journalism` is to refer to it as a kind of reporting philosophy. Like the international journalism approach described above, this approach to global journalism is occupied with professional practice, although not to denote traditional news exchange across borders but as an alternative way of covering issues of global importance. This type of global journalism is not primarily reflected in international news channels but in local media which could gain from adopting a new reporting framework emphasizing global connectivity when covering for example climate change.[2]

A third meaning of global journalism lies in the area of comparative journalism studies. This approach seeks to identify and compare different journalism cultures across the world in order to map out differences and commonalities in professional practice, ethics, epistemology etc. A number of such studies have been conducted since the late 1990s, some of which are among the largest studies ever undertaken within the field of journalism research.[3]

Although there are good reasons for each of the distinct uses of global journalism, the Master`s Programme in Global Journalism deliberately does not limit the term to one specific area. Instead, the programme approaches `global journalism` broadly as `journalism in global perspective`, thus incorporating both international news exchange, local coverage of global issues, comparative journalism studies, and more. The definition of global journalism is of necessity broad because it designates a study programme rather than a particular professional or research approach. Within the programme, there may be times when one needs a more confined definition of global journalism (for example in a particular research study), but in terms of designating the overall title of the programme, `Global Journalism– is meant to indicate an inclusive rather than exclusive approach.

Necessarily, a study programme cannot cover all areas within the field. Thus, the MA Programme in Global Journalism provides a selection of courses and topics which in total provides the student with both general and in-depth knowledge of the field. The programme`s emphasis is closely aligned with the research experiences of the academic staff, which is based on NLA University College`s international media engagement from the 1990s and until today. NLA`s involvement in international media development has taken place in various countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America, and has particularly focused on transitional societies characterized by a fragile media situation. Thus, although the MA Programme introduces general aspects of Global Journalism, the study has a particular emphasis on issues which concern North/South and East/West imbalances; freedom of expression; journalistic practice in transitional societies; media development; and other related issues.


[1] See for example Kevin Williams, 2011, International journalism (London: Sage)

[2] See for example Peter Berglez, 2013, Global journalism: Theory and practice (New York: Peter Lang).

[3] E.g. the Worlds of Journalism Study;

Use of NLA's international experience in the programme

The MA Programme in Global Journalism has emerged as a prolonging of the international engagement of NLA University College in journalism and media studies since the late 1990s. NLA`s Department of Journalism and Media Studies has been commissioned to set up MA degrees within the field in four transitional societies; Kosovo, Ethiopia, Uganda and Bolivia. Instructors from the department has also been involved in media development work on various levels in a number of other countries, both in Western and non-Western contexts. The department`s portfolio today covers a range of educational and research activities within journalism and media studies in the global context, including short-term trainings in journalism, needs assessment reports for international agencies, media productions from transitional societies, and more.

NLA's international experience will be drawn upon throughout the MA programme. To mention but a few examples; in GJ 301 Journalism, Media and Globalization, staff members` work in comparative journalism studies will naturally form a departure point; in GJ 302 Journalism, Democracy and Development, the department`s experience with media development on different continents can be regarded as the raison d`être for the course and will be widely referred to in the teaching; in the instruction and guidance related to the MA thesis, staff members´ extensive experience with cross-cultural research will gain the students as well.

All staff members to be used in the MA programme are fluent in at least two languages. They are all used to teach in English, and most of the staff`s research contributions are written in English

Target group

In our globalized world it is increasingly important to gain insight into other parts of the world, as well as the global implications of one´s own profession. Our MA program investigate the conditions under which journalists work in non-western cultures and political systems. We also study values systems and mindsets which dominates the global news flow.

Norwegian media houses are global actors, as they increasingly invest in media businesses abroad. Thorough knowledge concerning globalization and media culture is important in these processes. It is equally important for journalists from the south to understand the culture and the philosophy which dominates Western democracies. Through our MA program both Norwegian and foreign students will gain insight into the latest research in the field of global journalism, and also contribute to such research.

Foreign correspondents often cover conflicts where the media are in danger of becoming part of the conflict. In our MA program we discuss such situations and provide insight into intercultural communication, which is necessary for understanding conflicts and for doing professional reporting from them.

International aid organizations hire all the time people for their communications departments, where production of information material on all sorts of platforms is part of their work. Handling inquiring journalists is also part of this work. Our MA program will give these communications people valuable insight.

Our MA program will also be a good choice for people who want to pursue a career in journalism and media teaching and engage in research in these fields. The program will qualify for application to PhD programs within relevant fields. However, it is important to note that institutions around the world have different criteria for admission to PhD programmes, and we cannot guarantee that the MA degree in Global Journalism will qualify for PhD studies at all institutions.

Admission requirements

Admission to the MA Programme in Global Journalism is arranged according to the official regulation concerning studies at NLA University College (`Forskrift om studier ved NLA Høgskolen´; hereafter `Study Regulation`), with further details explained in this section.

The basic criterion for admission is:

a) a 3 or 4-year BA degree (Bachelor of Arts).

Applicants may alternatively apply on the basis of either:

b) a cand.mag. degree;

c) another degree or vocational education equalling at least three years of studies at undergraduate level; or

d) other education which, according to Norwegian higher education legislation § 3-4 (`Lov om universitetet og høyskoler`), is approved as equivalent to the abovementioned degrees or education.

Furthermore, the applicant's undergraduate degree or education must include either:

a) a specialization of at least 80 ECTS credits within Journalism, Media Studies, or another subject area with relevance for global journalism; or

b) an integrated degree in Journalism comprising of at least 120 ECTS credits.

(Cf. Study Regulation §§ 3-4)

The Admission`s Committee (`Opptakskomiteen') will adjudicate in cases where it is uncertain whether the admission criteria are met (cf. Study Regulation § 4).

To be qualified for the study, candidates are required to possess an average grade of C or higher (ECTS) in the relvant specialization of the undergraduate study (cf. Study Regulation § 4). Candidates applying on the basis of an undergraduate study from the former Norwegian degree system are required to possess a grade of 2.7 or higher as average score for the undergraduate cand.mag. degree (cf. Study Regulation § 4). Grade records from foreign applicants will be converted either in agreement with ECTS regulations; in agreement with common conversion scales; or, if none or these options are available, by individual assessment by the Admissions Committee.

Foreign applicants should note that all students whose first language is not English, or who have not completed a major part of their schooling in English, must submit transcript, meeting the academic requirements and showing a proof of English language competency by completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (cf. GSU-list available at In order to qualify, students need to achieve a minimum score of 550 points on the TOEFL paper-based test or 80 points on the TOEFL Internet-based test, or a minimum score of 6.0 from the IELTS (academic) test. Results should be sent directly to NLA University College. NLA's TOEFL code number is 1886. Please use this code when indicating NLA as your score recipient such that your score will be sent directly to us.

Foreign applicants do not have to meet the criteria for proficiency in the Norwegian language as the study programme is fully offered in English (cf. exception in Study Regulation § 4).

In the admission process, applicants are assessed competitively according to credits converted on basis of the grade transcript and other qualifications. Details are explained in the Study Regulation §§ 6, 7, 8 and 9. Supplementary credits (`tilleggspoeng') are awarded according to § 7. The following specifics apply for the MA in Global Journalism:

  • `Relevant education` is defined as any education within the humanities or social sciences.
  • `Relevant professional practice` is defined as any professional practice within journalism, media production, global work, international engagement, and similar.

Additionally, the following rules apply:

  • 25% of the places in the programme are reserved for candidates who compete on grade credits only (`karakterpoeng`) (cf. Study Regulation § 8). This is to ensure that candidates may be accepted into the programme without professional experience.
  • 50% of the seats in the programme are reserved for foreign applicants (cf. Study Regulation § 8). Foreign applicants must still meet the basic entry criteria outlined in the regulation. If there are fewer foreign applicants than 50% of the places, the places will be open to national (Norwegian) applicants. If there are more foreign applicants than 50% of the seats, the foreign applicants may still compete with national applicants for the remainder of the seats.
  • 25% of the places in the programme are reserved for Norwegian applicants. The same conditions apply as for the foreign student quota (as described in the previous bullet point). If and when the 50% foreign and 25% Norwegian quotas are filled, both foreign and Norwegian applicants will compete for the rest of the places on equal terms.
  • `Foreign applicant` is defined as an applicant with non-Norwegian citizenship (thus, Nordic countries outside of Norway count as foreign countries). `Norwegian applicant` (or `national applicant`) is defined as an applicant with Norwegian citizenship. Applicants with dual citizenship, one of which is Norwegian, shall count as Norwegian.
  • In a case where two or more applicants have the same admission credit, the Admission–s Committee will award places based on ensuring gender balance. If the order of the applicants is still not resolved, the oldest candidate shall be prioritized (cf. Study Regulation § 9).

Approximately 15 places are available in the programme each year. Admission takes place once a year; in August. The academic year lasts from mid-August to mid-June.

Admission prerequisites for single courses are specified in each course description. Application for exemption from such requirements is to be addressed to the Admission`s Committee.

Learning outcome

A candidate who has completed the MA Programme in Global Journalism should have the following learning outcomes:


The student:

  • possesses advanced knowledge of journalism in the global world and across cultures and societies
  • has in-depth knowledge of journalism in one particular society
  • has systematic knowledge of research methodology in the tradition of journalism and media studies
  • is able to apply relevant knowledge from Global Journalism studies to new developments within media practice and research
  • can analyse scholarly problems using historical and generic knowledge of Global Journalism studies


The student:

  • can analyse and critically assess scholarly and popular sources used to discuss Global Journalism
  • can build on these sources for further scholarly work within the field
  • can analyse theories and methods within Global Journalism studies with the view to work independently on theoretical problems within the field
  • is able to design and carry out an independent, small-scale research project within Global Journalism in accordance with established research methodology and relevant ethical norms

General competence

The student:

  • can discuss relevant ethical problems pertaining to practice and research within Global Journalism
  • can write an extensive research thesis demonstrating familiarity with theories, methods and specialized terminology belonging to the particular area of study
  • can communicate insights about research in Global Journalism both for the general public and in keeping with acknowledged academic standards of the field
  • be able to contribute to new thinking within Global Journalism studies

Programme components

Programme structure










Journalism, Media and Globalization




Journalism, Democracy and Development




Research Methodology





Nordic Media



Prerequisite: 3GJ301


Global Media Ethics



Prerequisites: 3GJ301 and 3GJ302


Media Representation



Prerequisite: 3GJ303


Independent Study



Prerequisites: 3GJ301, 3GJ302 and 3GJ303




Thesis Preparation Seminar



Prerequisite: 3GJ303

( 60 ECTS finalized)


Theoretical MA Thesis


Alternative to 3GJ323

Prerequisites: 3GJ303 and 3GJ321

( 75 ECTS finalized)


Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis


Alternative to 3GJ322

Prerequisites: 3GJ303 and 3GJ321

( 75 ECTS finalized)


(MA Thesis continued)

[1]Students choose three courses (30 ECTS) for the second semester.

[2]NLA recommends students in the programme to study abroad at a partnershipinstitution in the second semester.

[3]At least 10 ECTS in the second semester must build on previous courses.This condition also applies for students who study abroad in the semester.

[4]Students must choose either 3GJ322 Theoretical MA Thesis or 3GJ323Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis.


Students must choose either 3GJ322 Theoretical MA Thesis or 3GJ323

Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis.

Language of instruction and examination


Online application


  • 3GJ301 - Journalism, Media and Globalization - 10 sp
  • 3GJ302 - Journalism, Democracy and Development - 10 sp
  • 3GJ303 - Research Methodology - 10 sp
  • 3GJ311 - Nordic Media - 10 sp
  • 3GJ312 - Global Media Ethics - 10 sp
  • 3GJ313 - Media Representation - 10 sp
  • 3GJ319 - Independent Study - 10 sp
  • 3GJ321 - Thesis Preparation Seminar - 15 sp
  • 3GJ322 - Theoretical MA Thesis - 45 sp
  • 3GJ323 - Practical-Theoretical MA Thesis - 45 sp