Stories about press freedom in seven countries


The student group (Photo: Mathias Falch)

62 students rounded off their first year at OsloMet’s journalism studies with an intense two week long workshop on press freedom. 

Since 2002 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has published an annual ranking of press freedom in 180 countries. This year’s index shows that hate and violence against journalists have increased. 

– If the political debate slides surreptitiously or openly towards a civil war-style atmosphere, in which journalists are treated as scapegoats, then democracy is in great danger, RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said to the organisation’s own website. 

For two weeks, journalism students at OsloMet tried to grasp the importance of press freedom by researching, investigating, and writing online multimedia stories about today’s media landscape and the state of press freedom in seven different countries. 

Norway was ranked first in the RSF Index for the third time in a row, while the countries chosen for this year’s Rig were given the following rankings: Great Britain (33rd), Hungary (87th), Lebanon (101st), Brazil (105th), Afghanistan (121st), Colombia (129th), Somalia (164th). 

A total of 60 stories were written and published in Norwegian, and you can read all the stories, including mini radio documentaries and video interviews, the students made at Journalen.

Shortcuts to the stories on each of the seven countries:

The Rig has been a part of the first year at the journalism studies at OsloMet for more than ten years. The project-based way of learning about such a central topic as press freedom has gained a lot of interest from foreign study programmes in journalism, and over the years the Rig has been successfully exported to Cannes in France, Nablus in Palestine and Kampala in Uganda.

Ranking: The state of press freedom in the world in 2019. Light areas indicate a free press, while darker colours indicate that the press freedom in the given country is either threatened or non-existent. (Screenshot: Reporters Without Borders)




New Nordic Master

Photo (from left): Per Mattsson, Bernt Eide, Jon Petter Evensen, Cathrine Gladh, Søren Pagter, Mads Greve and Terje Lindblom.

The preparations for a Nordic Master in Photojournalism continues.

Three great days of meetings at Oslo Metropolitan University recently aimed at the the development of the joint Nordic Master in Photojournalism.

This MA degree will be a cooperation between Mid Sweden University in Sundsvall, Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark, and Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway


Golden Pig at DOK19

Shahidul Alam from Pathshala and David Engmo, student at OsloMet

Students from four countries opened an exhibition and launched a book with fresh images from China – Golden Pig – during DOK19 in Fredrikstad 24 May.

In his opening remarks, Shahidul Alam, the founder of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Bangladesh, drew the line back to the start of the cooperation with partners in Norway around twenty years ago.

Afterwards a new cooperation agreement with Pathshala was signed by Marja Lundell, the Director of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Oslo Metropolitan University, present at the opening in Fredrikstad.

One student and one teacher came from in Nepal, from Pathshala in Bangladesh and from Mino Art Center in China – to celebrate with ten Norwegian students, friends and colleagues.

Most of them were participants at DOK19  – a national festival  for documentary photography and photojournalism running from 23 until 25 May.

The exhibition outside the House of Literature
Students from China, Nepal, Bangladesh and Norway meeting again
Marja Lundell from OsloMet with Shahidul Alam from Pathshala





No platforming and free expression

JMICs two-day conference on the above topic took place earlier this week, with appr. 30 speakers and panellists. The participants represented a diversity of views and experiences, which was demonstrated both by the Scandinavian variety when it comes to the #metoo campaign and treatment of right-wing extremists, to a discussion on the invitation of Steve Bannon to the Nordic Media Days in Bergen. Experiences from countries where giving platform to extremists entails mainstreaming terrorists (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, etc.) were exchanged. War reporters discussed the challenge of embedding and giving voice to jihadists. And a lively conversation with Peter Münster from Facebook took place after screening the film “The Cleaners”.

Keynote speaker Eric Heinze discussed in-depth arguments for and against No platforming.

A short text cannot pay justice to such a full program. The organizers will consider a publication from this conference.



The department of journalism and media studies supported by JMIC today honoured the Press Freedom day with a keynote on cartoons and free expression, a panel discussion and a film screening. Even if Norway is top ranked in the annual list from Reporters Without Borders, the panel mentioned several issues of concern, such as threats and harassment against journalists, political propositions which limit access to information and journalist autonomy, and surveillance. These factors also open for more journalists exercising a proportion of self censorship, which is a frightening development.

Sidsel Avlund from NRK (Public Broadcasting) presented a survey showing that almost a third of their journalists (29 percent) had experienced harassment, threats etc., and that many of them did not even speak about this to others.

Panel from left to right: Arne Jensen, President of Norwegian Editors Union; Per Elvestuen, Director of Oslo Freedom Forum and cartoonist; Elin Floberghagen, Norwegian Press Association; and Sidsel Avlund, from the Norwegian Public Broadcasting, responsible for journalist safety.

Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace

This year’s Master course in Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace at the OsloMet Metropolitan University had students from Russia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Estonia, Morocco and Norway.

During three intense weeks in Norway filled with lectures, visits to Aftenposten and NRK, cultural program and the yearly conference of The Norwegian Foundation for a Free and Investigative Press (SKUP, Stiftelsen for en Kritisk og Undersøkende Presse) the students discussed safety and security, extremism, migration and more, from different angels and experiences.

The course, Global Journalism: Conflict, Safety and Peace, aims at developing advanced competence when it comes to critical research traditions related to post-colonial studies, for example Orientalism and Occidentalism critique, theories of nation and identities, migrancy and transnationalism. Students will also acquire competence in analyzing the links between globalization processes and ethnical dimensions within and between nations and regions. The role of safety for journalists covering war and conflicts is central to the course.

at the skup conference in Tønsberg
Visiting Afteposten
Sabahat Afsheen presenting the situastion for media in Pakistan
At Afteposten
Carlos Parede, Insonesia, at the Skup Conference

Awais Hameed presenting the mediascape in Pakistan
At the Nordic Black Theatre “After the dream”

«No Platforming and Free Expression» 6th and 7th of May 2019, OsloMet

No Platforming has been much debated across the world due to instances, where individuals have been barred from participating as university speakers, in public panels, and other fora. Opponents to No platforming highlight the dangers of muting controversial voices and fear it can undermine free expression. This conference attempts to address some of the controversies in open and constructive exchanges, and has invited speakers and panelists from several countries, representing a variety of views and experiences.

See the full program here

The particpants

Andina Dwifatma, writer, Indonesia


Ade Armando, Associate professor and journalist, Indonesia


Quatrina Hosain, activist & journalist, Karachi, Pakistan


Niels Ivar Larsen, journalist at Information, Denmark


Eric Heinze, Professor at the School of Law, Queen Mary University of London


Abeer Saady, reporter & PhD fellow, Egypt and Germany


Lena Anderson, writer and journalist, Sweden

Foto: Fabian af Petersens


Essia Atrous, journalist & writer, Tunisia


Lars Gule, Associate Professor at OsloMet


Nora Mehsen, writer & freelancer


Camara Lundestad Joof, writer & artist


Shazia Majid, author and journalist in VG


Mina Adampour, medical doctor & writer


Anne Birgitta Nilsen, Professor at OsloMet


Ane Stø, leader of Ottar Feminist group


Tine Eide,  Assistant Professor & Journalist, OsloMet


Bente Kalsnes, Associate Professor at OsloMet


Peter Münster, Facebook – Head of Communications for the Nordic region


Hans Rustad, Editor of


Mari Skurdal, Editor-in-Chief Klassekampen

Foto: Siv Dolmen.


Maren Fuchsia Celius-Blix, writer & commentator

Ingeborg Senneset, journalist, author and board member Norwegian PEN


Ervin Kohn, deputy director, The Norwegian Center against Racism


Elisabeth Eide, Professor OsloMet


Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury, Editor of Shuddashahr Magazine, Bangladesh/Norway 


Atta Ansari, reporter NRK


Afshin Ismaeli, reporter Aftenposten


Anna M. Grøndal Larsen, Associate Professor at OsloMet


Ingerid Salvesen, Assistant Professor, OsloMet & journalist


Anne-Cécilie Sibué-Birkeland, Theatre Director at Black Box


Knut Olav Åmås, Director, Free Expression Foundation


Andreas Delsett, Artistic Director Oslo House of Literature


Pål Refsdal, Documentary Filmmaker


Ingrid Fadnes, Assistant Professor, OsloMet & journalist

Access to Information workshop in Bangladesh

A two day workshop on access to information as a journalistic tool was organized by Article 19 Bangladesh and South Asia and JMIC in Dhaka last week. 

The 22 participants came from all over the country, and work on different media platforms.

Main trainer Julfikar Ali Manik (Photo: Rofiqur Rahman Reku/Article 19)

The Norwegian ambassador Sidsel Bleken opened the workshop. Present were also two former Chief Information Commissioners, diplomats, editors, teachers and journalists. The main trainer was the investigative journalist Julfikar Ali Manik, who is a stringer for The New York Times. 

Continue reading “Access to Information workshop in Bangladesh”