This course is discontinued

MEVIT4328 – MEVIT4328 - Press Freedom in a World of Censorship

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will discuss the role of censorship in suppressing media freedom and in stifling democratization processes in general, in the context of the role that unfettered media can otherwise play in the process of political transformation in developing societies. Emphasis will be placed on the following fundamental aspects of censorship:

Social responsibilities of the media

Muzzling of the press by authoritarian regimes through censorship

Censorship and the ethics of journalism

Freedom of expression versus the right to privacy

Censorship and credibility of the media

Survival of media institutions through self-censorship

Press Freedom versus military censorship

Censorship of photographs

Censorship in the free world – case of the United States. Examples of media censorship discussed on a theoretical basis will be linked to comparative analyses. Examples cited for comparison will be drawn from Zimbabwe, where the teacher will have recourse to personal experiences with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and other draconian laws. Other southern African countries, as well the United States and other western countries will also feature in discussion.

Participation of students in all discourse will be mandatory, in order for them to learn to discuss the causes, the consequences and the complex manifestations of media censorship. The course will have both a theoretical input and a practical analytical perspective. Coursework will develop the oral and the written skills of the students in both discourse and presentation.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission as MA student.

Overlapping courses

The course does not overlap with other courses offered at UiO.


Teaching will take place throughout the semester. There will be 7*2 hours of lectures and 7*2 hours of seminars. The lectures will cover important issues and theories of the field. The seminars will provide an arena for focussed discussion of these issues and theories, and will also serve as a workshop for writing of term papers.


Home exam on a given topic over a period of 3 days. The submitted paper may be up to 10 pages (one page is calculated to 2300 characters without spaces), and may be written in English or Norwegian.

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.

Facts about this course




Autumn 2005


Autumn 2006

Teaching language