Bjørn Westlie to defend his PhD

MEKK member Bjørn Westile will defend his PhD thesis at the Department of Archeology, Conservation and History on Friday. The topic of his thesis is Norges Statsbaner (Norwegian State Railways) and the prisoners of war during World War II.

The defense will take place on Friday 28. September 2018 at 12:30 in, Gamle festsal, Domus Academica, Oslo.

The trial lecture will be given in Norwegian at the same place at 10:15. Welcome!

More information in Norwegian.

Photo: Sonja Balci, OsloMet

The Syrian war – why so silent?

Why have Norwegian media shown so little interest in the principal aspects of the Norwegian military presence in Syria? MEKK member Prof. Rune Ottosen and student Ida Bing ask the question in today’s Norwegian daily Dagsavisen, where they criticize Norwegian media for not asking more critical questions about why we lack knowledge of what the Norwegian forces have been involved in, and not least : whether this is a violation of international law.

Read the full article in Norwegian here


4th annual conference on the Safety of Journalists – the chilling effects

The conference will take place in Oslo on the 5th and 6th of November 2018 in connection with UNESCO’s International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists at Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway.

Most abuses against media professionals remain uninvestigated and unpunished. This impunity perpetuates the cycle of violence against journalists, media workers and citizen journalists. The resulting self-censorship deprives society of information and further impacts press freedom. (UNESCO, Safety of Journalists and Impunity)[1]

Self-censorship among journalists has taken a new turn over the last couple of years.. The Council of Europe report of January 2016 warns against the danger that the fight against terrorism and extremism can lead to disproportionate strict measures at the expense of democratic freedom in order to maintain state security. The International Commission for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) expresses their concern as follows:

Little by little, drop by drop, the media integrate these concerns into their news routines and some even anticipate or go beyond security service orders or recommendations. Though they may reject any notion of self-censorship, “caution” has become the byword of “ethical” or “responsible” journalism[2].

The press not only encounters threats and pressure from potential terrorists or extreme voices, even liberal forces expect the media to behave properly in times of increased conflict. The old depiction of the media as ‘the terrorist’s oxygen’ may seem to have gained new relevance in recent years’ war on terror.
We need to know more about self-censorship and how it works in relation to journalists’ security and freedom of expression in general. How can you talk about self-censorship? How can you know that self-censorship exists? What can make journalists better equipped to secure themselves without having to tie themselves up and jeopardize freedom of speech? What role do state authorities or journalist associations play here?

Key note speakers are

  • Guy Berger, UNESCO
  • Marilyn Clark, University of Malta
  • Marta Milena Barrios Correa, Universidad del Norte, Colombia
  • Nhamo A. Mhiripiri, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe

Paper presentations:

Call for abstracts: now closed. To participate with a paper, an abstract of maximum 250 words should be sent to  before August 15, 2018. Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, and email. There is no registration fee. The participants are expected to cover their own costs for travel and accommodation. A limited number of scholarships to cover flight and/or accommodation is available for Ph.D. students and researchers from low-income countries. Applications for scholarships should be submitted with the abstract together with a short CV.

The best papers will be considered for a forthcoming peer reviewed publication.



Samiksha Koirala to defend her doctoral dissertation

Our Norhed candidate Samiksha Koirala defends her doctoral dissertation for the degree of PhD on Friday 17th of August at the University of Oslo. The title of her thesis is Gender Representations in the Nepali Press during Pre-Conflict, Conflict and Post-Conflict Periods : Examining gender coverage in Nepali newspapers of 1994-2014

The examining committee is Professor Gitiara Nasreen, University of Dhaka, Professor Thomas Tufte, University of Leicester and Professor Gunn Enli, University of Oslo.

Supervisors are Professor Kristin Skare Orgeret and Professor Helge Rønning.

“Nicaragua: The beginning or the end of a revolution?”

By Voice of America –, Public Domain,

Head of MEKK, professor Roy Krøvel will discuss the escalating situation in Nicaragua in a panel with other experts on Nicaragua; Mariel Aguilar-Støen, Elin Cecilie Ranum and faciliator Benecticte Bull firstcoming Friday, June the 8th, from 6 to 7:30 PM, room: Laboratoriet, 3rd. floor, Youngs gate 6, Oslo. The event is initiated by Norwegian Latin America Research Network (NorLARNet). The seminar is open for everybody.

For more than a month now, Nicaragua has been facing demonstration against corruption, cutbacks and against the concentration of power in the hands of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo -the presidential couple. The situation has escalated in brutality, and over a hundred people have so far been killed.

What might be the reasons for the situation in Nicaragua? Who are the protesters, and why do security forces react so violently? Are Ortega’s days as a president, over? How can the crisis be resolved, and how should the international community respond? In this evening seminar, one of the participants from the The InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) visitation in May, will give an introduction before we have a conversation between three experts with different backgrounds from work in Nicaragua.

Read the whole report from the The InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) vistiation in Nicaragua.

Embers of Colombia’s 50-year-old conflict are still burning

Despite the 2016 peace accord with the FARC, once Latin America’s largest guerrilla group, there are still violent clashes. As late as last week (28 May), Colombian troops killed 11 dissidents of the disbanded FARC guerrilla group.

Roy Krøvel’s article from November last year is still highly relevant. Read it here (sorry – in Norwegian!)

Photo: Mona Thowsen


MEKK-conference receives funding from UNESCO

We are happy to announce that we have received 200 000 NOK from UNESCO, towards arranging a new conference on the topic of security for journalists. This year the focus will be on self-sensorship due to threaths and violence against journalists. More information, and call for papers will be shortly due.

An important read on World Press Freedom Day

Marte Høiby, member Visit Marte Høiby at HIOA´s staff page
Marte Høiby, MEKK-member, journalist safety trainer and PhD fellow at the Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway
Saumava Mitra, post-doctoral fellow in media, peace and conflict studies at the United Nations mandated University for Peace.
“The death of these Afghan journalists covering a suicide attack underlines the fact that we need to discard the outdated idea of heroic “foreign” correspondents reporting about distant wars. News from conflict zones – even for international news organizations – is increasingly produced by local journalists, ” writes Saumava Mitra and MEKK-member Marte Høiby in an article published by The Globe and Mail Today on the World Press Freedom Day. Read the whole article below.


Norwegian Press during Second World War

Photo: NTB Scanpix

Journalism as resistance and source of power was the starting point for a conversation between historians and journalist Hans Fredrik Dahl and MEKK-member, journalist and historian Bjørn Westlie, when they met to discuss the Norwegian press during the Second World War, yesterday at the National Library.

In the afternoon of Tuesday, April 9, 1940, less than a few hours after the attack on Norway, the occupation power called for a press conference where they presented a new protocol of conduct for Norwegian newspapers. It was later  followed up by censorship and control. The vast majority of editors and journalists adapted to the new regime. At the same time, an illegal press grew forth, and people listened on their hidden radios to the “voice from London”.


Critic of Norwegian Media´s coverage of Syria

In a recent article in Klassekampen, Professor Emeritus, Rune Ottosen questions why the media takes such an uncritical stance towards Norway´s participation in the war in Syria, especially with regards to violation of International Law. Ottosen draws parallels to the war in Afghanistan, where Norway also participated; lives were lost, and millions of dollars spent, yet to little avail.

Read the whole article in Klassekampen.