Syllabus for Media and Communication Studies C: Theory in Journalism Studies
Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap C: Teori i journalistikstudier
A revised version of the syllabus is available.
- 7.5 credits
- Course code: 2IV170
- Education cycle: First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level:
Media and Communication Studies G2F
Explanation of codes
The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:
- G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
- G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
- G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
- G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
- G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
- GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified
- A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
- A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
- A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
- A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
- AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified
- Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
- Established: 2017-10-26
- Established by: The Department Board
- Applies from: Autumn 2018
60 credits Media and Communication Studies, of which 7.5 credits Journalism Studies
- Responsible department: Department of Informatics and Media
After the course the student should be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
- account for and show in-depth understanding of the main theories in, and relevant to, the field of Journalism Studies,
- account for and show understanding of how these main theories deal with the cultural, political, economic, technological and broader social contexts of journalistic production,
- account for specialized knowledge and show understanding of the critical, culturalist, discursive and audience-driven perspectives in Journalism Studies,
Competence and skills
- independently reflect on the main critical perspectives in journalism theory, and of their (re)articulation in the digital era,
- independently and critically reflect on issues of identity, democracy, power, ideology, participation and inclusion in journalism and the news,
- independently and critically present and analyse, in oral and text-based forms, theoretically driven accounts on key issues and debates in the field of Journalism Studies,
Judgement and approach
- account for and show understanding of ethical implications of different theoretical approaches to journalism,
- independently discuss and show understanding of the importance of inclusive and power-neutral approaches in journalism, for instance in relation to gender, ethnicity and class.
This course, building on the foundations set in MCS B/Journalism Studies, elaborates further on the main theories in, and relevant to, Journalism Studies, and offers an in-depth exploration of the basic academic debates in the field, examining, also, how these debates are re-articulated in the digital era. The starting point of this exploration consists of a thinking through, and re-thinking of, the very foundations of journalism, through a philosophical, ontological and ethical reflection, focusing on, among others, truth, objectivity, fairness and (social) responsibility. The course then moves on to theoretically examine issues and phenomena of news production, content and context, with special focus on four social spheres (cultural, political, economic, technological), along three broad fields (critical theory and cultural studies, discourse studies, audience studies). This theoretical toolbox will allow students to critically reflect on, and analyse, issues of gender, ethnicity, class, identity, democracy, power, ideology, participation, conflict, in/tolerance and inclusion, in journalism and the news.
Lectures, seminars and workshops are combined with individual and group work activities and assignments.
The course is examined through active participation in compulsory activities, including individual and group-work assignments, and in (oral and/or written) examinations.
- Latest syllabus (applies from Spring 2023)
- Previous syllabus (applies from Autumn 2020)
- Previous syllabus (applies from Autumn 2019)
- Previous syllabus (applies from Autumn 2018)
Applies from: Autumn 2018
Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.
Theories of journalism in a digital age
London: Routledge, 2017.
Ward, Stephen J. A..
Ethics and the Media : An Introduction
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011
Reese, S. (2016-08-31). Theories of Journalism. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication.
Articles and book chapters, approximately 500 pages.
Recommended literature and resources
The media and social theory
New York: Routledge, 2008
Media and participation : a site of ideological-democratic Struggle
Bristol: Intellect, 2011
Journalism : critical issues
Maidenhead, England: Open University Press, 2005.
Media/society : industries, images, and audiences
Fifth Edition.: Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 
Cook, Timothy E.
Governing with the news : the news media as a political institution
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998
Bourdieu and the journalistic field
Oxford: Polity, 2005
Christians, Clifford G.
Media ethics : cases and moral reasoning
Tenth edition.: New York, NY: Routledge, 2017.
Bensman, J. and Lilienfeld, R., 1969. Phenomenology of journalism. Diogenes, 17(68), pp.98-119.