MEVIT3427 – Media, War and Journalism: Blurred Lines and Smokescreens

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will not be taught the spring semester of 2022.

Wars are not only fought on battlefields. They are also, if not foremost, battles for “hearts and minds” that take place in society before a conflict starts, during the conflict, and after it is over, in the memories and narratives about it. Communication and the media, in this respect, play a crucial role both in and outside the theatre of war.

Through this course you will explore the way the developments of communications and, in parallel with them, journalism, have, over time, affected conflicts, from the antiquity and WWII to the “war on terror.” Not only will you examine how communication technology has impacted, even driven, the way wars are fought, their very nature and scope.  You will also understand the broader implications that this has for our society: the struggles waged by policy makers, journalists, the parties involved, and transnational audiences to manipulate and shape the perceptions of conflict.

This module brings together different areas of study:

  • Communication
  • Media Studies
  • Journalism
  • Politics
  • History.

While it might take you out of your “comfort zone,” by its end you will be able to answer questions related to topical and current debates:

  • Are the internet and social media “helping” terrorists?
  • Do global, live and instantaneous media really enable us to understand the reality of war?
  • Are the politicians “using” the media to “lie” to us about conflicts?
  • Why are we witnessing a robotization of warfare?

Learning outcome

At the end of this course you will understand:

  • how the development of communications has affected over time the nature of war and the practice of war reporting.
  • the consequences that changes in war journalism have on the representation of war.
  • how changes in the perceptions of conflict can shape the outcomes of democratic debate and political mobilization.

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • engage critically with both academic research and contemporary public debates by identifying and examining contradictions and problematic issues.
  • evaluate and compare arguments validity by drawing evidence from case studies.
  • explain and defend your ideas on the subject (through presentations, participation to discussions in seminars, essay writing).


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Teaching takes place throughout the semester organised as lectures and seminars.

The students must have the following two obligatory activities approved in order to qualify for the exam:

  • All students must write and get approved a draft of the semester paper in order to be able to take the exam of the course. Individual feedback will be given on the draft.
  • Attendance

    Attendance at all lectures and seminars is expected: you are part of a community of learning and the point of lectures and seminars is to provide that extra that is not “in the books.” Students are also required to actively participate in class discussions. Attendance, staying informed, engaging with the teacher, fellow students, and the course materials are expected for you to get the most out of the course and to be able to give your best in the final exam.

Approved obligatory activities are only valid the semester you attend the course

Obligatory activities and absence

It is the student's own responsibility to stay informed about the obligatory activities, comply with the requirements for attendance and to uphold deadlines. Everyone must familiarize themselves with the rules concerning obligatory activities at the Faculty of Humanities. If you get ill or have other valid reasons for being absent from obligatory activities, you must apply for absence as soon as possible, and on the same day as the absence or the deadline. Documentation of the absence must be sent to the institute within three working days. 

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Term paper.

The exam paper should consist of 10 pages, +/- 10%.  Front page, bibliography and pictures (if any) will not be counted. A normal page consists of about 2300 letters. 

The obligatory activities must be approved before the exam.

Tidligere eksamensoppgaver og sensorveiledninger

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Periodic course evaluation, spring 2016 (PDF)

Periodic course evaluation, spring 2017 (PDF)

Periodic course evaluation, spring 2020 (PDF)


Facts about this course






The course will not be taught the spring semester of 2022


There will not be an exam the spring semester of 2022

Teaching language