1. Journalism in Multicultural Societies

This session focuses on the importance of human rights and intercultural understanding in relation to journalism.  

Journalism plays a vital role in the portrayal of minorities/‘the others’. This will be expressed in different ways in different countries, depending on such factors as the composition of the population, the political system and the history of the press. The main aim of this session is that the students will gain knowledge of the categorisation processes that take place in multicultural societies and understand the significant role of the press in the exclusion and inclusion of minorities, seen in the light of human rights.

The session starts with an activity aimed at getting the students to experience categorisation and how notions of ‘us’ and ‘them’ can be constructed. Then follows the first lecture section which introduces relevant knowledge on human rights and multiculturalism in relation to journalism. Multiculturalism as a concept and the multicultural society as a construction will be discussed, as will be the mission and role of journalism in multicultural societies. This will be followed by a group work. The second lecture section will present examples of journalists’ own experiences and attitudes when it comes to covering multicultural societies. A case about how the Norwegian public broadcasting company, NRK, has dealt with multiculturalism and other types of diversity in practice will be discussed. This session will conclude with multiple follow-up activities.


The students shall:

  • reflect on categorisation processes and the implication for majority/minority relations
  • learn about the connection and interrelatedness between journalism and human rights
  • obtain knowledge about theories of multicultural societies
  • understand and reflect on the role of journalists in covering multicultural societies and the processes of inclusion and exclusion
  • reflect on the importance of words that are used in the coverage of minorities



About 4 hours.

A large room with ample space for group work, large sheets of paper, pen and paper. Small paper dots with glue on one side in different colors (to place of the participants forehead).

Two lecture sessions of about 30-40 minutes each: 1. Journalism and the multicultural society, 2. Journalists' experiences and attitudes.


 Educational elements


Gunn Bjørnsen, Head of Department, Faculty of Education and International Studies, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Norway)

An online manual on intercultural understanding, ethics and human rights to be used by teachers and students in journalism education. Read more.

Email : post@journalism-edu.org

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