Press freedom

Online workshop on press freedom at OsloMet

map of the world from Reporters without borders

Journalism students used digital tools to collaborate during the annual Rig on press freedom.

The Rig on press freedom is held at OsloMet every spring. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s project had to be arranged digitally, as the university was closed and the students were spread all over Norway.

After a set of online lectures, the first-year students from journalism branch of the Department of journalism and media studies were divided into groups with the purpose of investigating and writing news stories on the conditions of press freedom in six assigned countries.

Thanks to daily online meetings, group chats and digital guidance from their professors, they managed to produce more than 40 stories on press freedom during two weeks.

Reporters Without Borders publishes an annual ranking on the state of press freedom in the world. Norway topped the ranking for 2020, as they did in the three previous years, while the countries chosen for this year’s Rig were given the following rankings: Finland (2nd), Tunisia (72nd), Ethiopia (99th), Colombia (130th), Algeria (146th), Russia (149th) and Bangladesh (151st).

– The most important thing I’ve learned from the Rig is the importance of freedom of the press, and why freedom of speech is fundamental to a well-functioning democracy, Cassandra Bergquist from the Ethiopia-group said to Journalen.

– It surprised me to find out how bad the conditions are for journalists in many countries. This is a profession that potentially can be much more dangerous than I thought, she added.

Shortcuts to the stories on each of the seven countries (stories in Norwegian):

The Rig was developed at OsloMet more than ten years ago, and has since been introduced to several other universities abroad, for instance, the An-Najah University of Nablus, Palestine and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda

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