This website features the work of students participating in the Masters level Erasmus Mundus journalism program at Aarhus University and the Danish School of Media and Journalism. The course, in Analytic Journalism, is intended to give students the reporting and analytic skills around complex international issues, and to communicate those findings and perspective with narrative clarity.
We focused on two broad subject areas where the tensions between the status-quo and new evolving global order are the most acute: climate change and the environment, and international justice, which we took to mean the broad array of subjects that are presenting an unprecedented challenge to the global community, from immigration to labor rights to the prosecution of war criminals to global health. In both arenas, environment and justice, there are great stresses on the established international order, new tensions emerging and new winners and losers—ideal for journalistic inquiry. Our goal was to help facilitate the development of journalistic skills that would assist journalists to become ‘navigators’ through the increasingly complex international terrain. We called it ‘subjectivity with evidence’. This class was the first to attempt a definition of ‘analytic journalism’ on Wikipedia.
Along with journalistic practice we taught a parallel track exploring the ‘meta’ side of journalism, to understand not only the critical thinking, reporting and writing, but understanding the overall media landscape and context in which they were reporting, and the means by which a ‘common wisdom’ is established from which they endeavored to depart or more fully explain.
The thirty students from twenty countries on five continents brought the world into our classroom inside the Danish School of Journalism. Their journalistic experiences ranged widely, from local newspapers to national television, news websites and radio. The stories featured here are their final exams, submitted in June 2011. Each provides a glimpse into how the often contentious issues of environmental protection and international justice are playing out in different parts of the world, containing what we hope are new insights and analysis.
Mark Schapiro and Flemming Svith, the professors