Project Hovdabrekka

Becoming A Journalist. Journalism education in the Nordic countries (Nordicom)

In Publications on September 1, 2016 at 17:07

The first international anthology on Nordic research on journalism students are finally out, and it can be purchased or downloaded (for free) via Nordicom´s page.


“This edited volume addresses journalism education as a central component of journalistic professionalization, making it necessary to understand what is a crucial period in most future journalists’ lives. Nowadays, journalism scholars are realizing the need for more sustained, in-depth and critical studies of why students embark on such degrees, how they develop their professional views and practices at universities, how the educational curricula of journalism programs match the needs of the labor market, and also, what the news industry thinks about journalism courses and their graduates. This volume addresses all of these important questions in-depth, with admirable attention to different elements that may explain all these issues.

The comparative perspective of looking at the Nordic countries breaks new ground considering the paucity of comparative studies on journalism education in specific media systems. The authors that take part of this book employ an array of quantitative and qualitative approaches to study the field of journalism education, providing a rich account that, no doubt, will be essential reading for students, researchers, the media industry, policy-makers and all people interested in journalism education and professionalization.”

Folker Hanusch, University of Vienna, Austria
Claudia Mellado, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, Chile
Principal investigators, Journalism students across the globe

A presentation of the book was given September 23d to the Nordic journalism teachers conference in Ålesund. Henrika is speaking, Co-editors Jan Fredrik and Gunnar at the window demonstrate not only their keen interest, but also that a year of coordinated work on the book have resulted in a coordinated body language.


The first review of the book is positive. European Journal of Communication says that “looking at journalism education in this comparative way is very welcome, and it is to be hoped that it will be followed in other broad geographical regions”, and that the authors should be “applauded for putting together such a rich assemblage of articles on this topic”.


Making journalists: Nordic perspectives

In Publications on October 5, 2014 at 14:22

A call for chapters for a Nordic anthology on research on journalism education and journalism students was issued in March this year. 19 abstracts were accepted, and September the 24th was held a preconference with this theme in connection with this years´ Nordic Conference for Journalism Teachers in Reykjavik.

Elin Gardenström speaks about the historical struggles taking place in the establishment of the Nordic journalismm programmes

Elin Gardenström speaks about the historical struggles taking place when the Nordic journalism programmes were established.

We plan to publish a Nordicom anthology from this preconference early next year. Many of the chapters uses data from the Hovdabrekka project. Editors are Jan Fredrik Hovden, Gunnar Nygren and Henrika Zilliacus-Tikkanen.

Hovdabrekka 2012

In Surveys on June 7, 2012 at 11:09

* Update 15. Jan: The data collection is now finished. 1830 responded, a response rate of 45%. See “The surveys” for more details.

A new survey of Nordic journalism students is planned for the autumn. This will update our time series (the previous surveys were done in 2005 and 2008), and provide new knowledge of how the current changes in the Nordic societies and media systems have an impact on journalism students´ recruitment, their professional ideals and ambitions.

As before, our motivation for this project is twofold, providing us with data for research and for sharing with journalist educators for pedagogic use (see the previous post for access to results from the 2008-data). And again, this project will be done without special funding, so we hope for the continuing cooperation and support by the participating journalism educations, on which we depend.

Methodologically, the web survey will follow the template established by the 2008-survey. Before summer, the national contacts in each country (see below) will contact the journalism schools to provide information and establish a survey contact within each institution. At the start of the semester we will ask the contact/administration for an updated list of e-mail addresses of the journalism students, which will then be used for a centralised distribution of the web questionnaire (via e-mail), using a service ( which guarantee the students´ anonymity, and also help us reduce the burden on each student through making it possible to administer follow-ups to only those who have not answered the questionnaire. The institution and survey contact will not have to do any work, except help us get access to the e-mail list and encourage the students to participate. The questionnaire will to a large extent replicate the one used in 2008, but it will be considerably shorter.

18 schools of journalism participated In 2008. We hope to include most of these, and perhaps add some. At this time, the list is not finalised. We will send out e-mail invitations to the students as soon as we are able to get updated student lists after summer. In Norway (and perhaps also in the other countries?) late August/early September is most likely.

There has otherwise been some small changes in our group, so that the team for the 2012 survey is:

Norway: Gunn Bjørnsen (national contact), Volda, and Rune Ottosen, Oslo
Sweden:  Jenny Wiik (national contact), Göteborg
Denmark:  Ida Willig (national contact) and Jannie Møller Hartley, both Roskilde
Finland: Henrika Zilliacus-Tikkanen (national contact), U. Helsinki and Raimo Solokangas, Jyväskylä
Iceland: Þorbjörn Broddason and Valgerður Jóhannsdóttir, both Háskóli Íslands and Birgir Guðmundsson, Háskólinn á Akureyri.

If anyone has any questions,comments or ideas for the survey, please contact me or one of our group members.


Jan Fredrik Hovden,
University of Bergen (group leader)