Advanced Comparative Journalism Studies

PhD students are welcome to apply to the course Advanced Comparative Journalism Studies, 7.5 credits. The course will be held at Södertörn between Septmber 6th and October 6th

Deadline for applications: June 1st 2023

Send application to course director: Kristina Riegert,

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the central tenets and applications of the field of comparative journalism studies. Central themes throughout the course are the impact of media globalization and journalism situated within the contexts of political, economic and cultural orders of power. We will study media systems, journalisticprofessionalism, journalist ethics and roles, media organisations and the impact of technology for journalistic practice. The course will introduce students to methodological approaches and research designs within comparative journalism studies. The course provides students with the opportunity to engage in critical reflection and debate, as well as honing the ability to synthesize and apply the knowledge and insights gained from the course to their own future research projects.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, the doctoral student can:

  • analyse the field of comparative journalism in an independent and critical manner
  • carry out in-depth analysis of similarities and differences between journalism in different parts of the world, as regards media content, work process and professional role
  • identify methodological challenges in comparative journalism studies
  • critically reflect on the position of journalism and the professional role of journalists in relation to power orders in various societal systems
  • autonomously evaluate and discuss ethical issues using a comparative approach.

Course Schedule 

6 September.  Time: 13:00-17:00

13:00- 15:00. Lecture Kristina Riegert -Key Concepts Globalisation-Post-Globalisation, Media Systems and Journalism Culture  

15:00-17:00 Seminar 1 – International news and comparative national news.

7 September. Time: 10:00-17:15 

10:00-12:00 Seminar 2 – Studies of media systems and journalism cultures in a comparative perspective

13:00-15:00 Lecture: Gunnar Nygren (Södertörn): Journalistic Professionalism in a comparative perspective

15:15-17:15. Seminar 3 – Journalistic Roles, Ethical ideologies and concrete ethical issues

20 September – 10:00- 15:00


Lecture: Henrik Örnebring (Karlstad): Media Organisations, and Technology


Seminar 4. Henrik Örnebring: Assessing the impact of technology on journalism cultures 

21 September 10:00-16:00  

Lecture: Nicholas Aylott (Södertörn)– Comparative Research Methods  

Case-oriented comparative methods in Social Science. What constitutes a case? Theory building, controlled comparison, small n studies.


Seminar 5:  What are the strengths and weaknesses of comparative media research methods? 


Overview of comparative journalism cultures. Discussion of papers 

2 October deadline for papers

6 October 12-15 – (Online?) 

Seminar Presentation of Research papers


Overall student performance will be assessed according to the 

classification (fail, pass distinction)

The Assessment has two components:

Adequate class-participation is necessary for passing the course. This includes

reasonable preparation, such as reading prescribed material before the seminars.

In the first class, seminar presentations will be allocated to individuals and/or small groups. Each presentation, which should be 15-20 minutes long, will involve a summary of the prescribed literature and an argument about it. The argument can involve support for or criticism of a particular aspect of the literature that could be developed further.

Students who are not making a presentation in a certain seminar should

prepare brief written reflections of about one A4 page on the prescribed literature and raise questions prompted by the literature. Students should then be prepared to elaborate on their reflections in the seminar. Written reflections are to be handed in at the end of class. If circumstances (such as illness) prevent participation in a seminar, the course convenor must be informed in advance. In this case, a written assignment of between four and five pages, with the same title as that of the seminar, will be required.

A research paper of about 5000 words (+/- 10%), including references (Use Word, Times 12pt, 1,5 spacing, normal margin) should be written in English. The paper should display good knowledge of the course literature and conform toappropriate academic conventions such as referencing of source material. The deadline for submission of the paper is 2 October at 9.00. Submissions should be uploaded into the repository on the course website (this will automatically put it through the plagiarism-detection service). In the final seminar students should be prepared to give a fifteen minute presentation and be prepared to act as discussants on opponents’ papers on 6 oktober which may be held online. 


Subject to change


Hanitzsch, T., Hanusch, F., Ramaprasad, J. & de Beer, A.S. (eds.). (2019). Worlds of journalism: Journalistic cultures around the globe. New York: Columbia University Press. (selected chapters)

Kern-Stone, R. & Mishra, S. (eds) (2019). Transnational Media: Concepts and Cases. Wiley-Blackwell (selected chapters). 

Nygren, G. & Dobek-Ostrowska, B. (2015). Journalism in change – professional journalistic cultures in Poland, Russia and Sweden. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. (selected chapters). 

Peruško, Zrinjka, Dina Vozab, and Antonija Čuvalo. (2021). Comparing Post-socialist Media Systems: The Case of Southeast Europe. London: Routledge (selected chapters).

Ward, S. (ed.) (2021). Handbook of Global Media Ethics. Cham: Springer (selected chapters)

Örnebring, H. (2016) Newsworkers: A Comparative European Perspective. London: Bloomsbury Academic. (selected chapters)


Brüggemann, M., Engesser, S., Büchel, F., Humprecht, E., & Castro, L. (2014). Hallin and Mancini revisited: Four empirical types of western media systems. Journal of Communication64(6), 1037-1065.

Esser, F. and Vliegenthart, R. (2017). Comparative Research Methods. In The International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (eds J. Matthes, C.S. Davis and R.F. Potter).

fallstudieforskning”, Statsvetenskapligt Tidskrift (2003/4), 106:3, 185-207.

Flew, T. (2020). Globalization, neo-globalization and post-globalization: The challenge of populism and the return of the national. Global Media and Communication, 16(1), 19–39.

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006), “Five Misunderstandings about Case-Study Research”, Qualitative Inquiry 12:2, 219-45.

George, Alexander. 1979. “Case Studies and Theory Development: The Method of Structured, Focused Comparison.” In Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy, ed. Gorden Lauren., PaulNew York: Free Press. 43–68.

Gerring, J. (2004), “What is a Case Study and What is it Good For?”, American Political Science Review.98:2.

Guo, L. & Vargo, C (2017) Global Intermedia Agenda Setting: A big data analysis of international news flow. Journal of Communication. Journal of Communication, 67 (4) 499–520,

Hanitzsch, T. (2007). Deconstructing Journalism Culture: Toward a Universal Theory. Communication Theory, 17(4), 367-385.

Johnson, J. & Forde, S. (2011) The Silent Partner: News Agencies and 21st Century News. International Journal of Communication 5 (2011), 195-214.

Livingstone, S. (2003). On the challenges of cross-national comparative media research. European Journal of Communication, 18(4), 477-500. 

Marjoriebanks, T. (2000) News Corporation, Technology and the Workplace: Global Strategies, Local Change, Timothy Marjoribanks, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pages to be announced. (unavailable online).

Mellado, C., Mothes, C., Hallin, D. C., Humanes, M. L., Lauber, M., Mick, J., Silke, H., Sparks, C., Amado, A., Davydov, S., & Olivera, D. (2020). Investigating the Gap between Newspaper Journalists’ Role Conceptions and Role Performance in Nine European, Asian, and Latin American Countries. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(4), 552–575.

Powers, M., & Vera-Zambrano, S. (2018). The Universal and the Contextual of Media Systems: Research Design, Epistemology, and the Production of Comparative Knowledge. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 23(2), 143–160.

Practice”, Comparative Political Studies 43:2 (29 pages).

Qualitative Inquiry 12:2, 219-45; or (2003), “Fem missförstånd om

Raemy, P. & Hellmueller, L. (2021) Exploring Journalist Cultures. In Dimitrova, D. (ed) Global Journalism: Understanding World Media System. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield. 57-67. 

Rantanen, T. (2013). A critique of the systems approaches in comparative media research: A Central and Eastern European perspective. Global Media and Communication, 9(3), 257–277.

Robertson, Alexa. “What’s Happened to Global News?” New Global Studies, vol. 15, no. 2-3, 2021, pp. 303-322.

Schäfer, M. & Painter, J. 2018. “Global Similarities and Persistent Differences: A Survey of Comparative Studies on Climate Change Communication.” In Climate Change and the media, New York: Peter Lang.

Tarrow, S. (2010), “The Strategy of Paired Comparison: Toward a Theory of Practice. Comparative Political Studies. 43: 2. 

Waisbord, S. (2013). Reinventing professionalism: Journalism and News in Global Perspective. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.