Media and Communication Studies C: Theory in Journalism Studies

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 2IV170

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Media and Communication Studies G2F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 27 February 2020
Responsible department
Department of Informatics and Media

Entry requirements

60 credits in media and communication studies including 7.5 credits in journalism studies

Learning outcomes

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 written examinations.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator or a decision by the department's working group for study matters.