The SAGE Key Concepts series provide students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Key Concepts in Journalism offers a systematic and accessible introduction to the terms, processes, and effects of journalism;a combination of practical considerations with theoretical issues; and further reading suggestions. The authors bring an enormous range of experience in newspaper and broadcast journalism, at national and regional level, as well as their teaching expertise. This book will be essential reading for students in journalism, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers.
The term ‘investigative journalist’ smacks of pretension, and has few ardent adherents among practitioners. But it helps denote the self-motivation, the experience and knowledge, the methodology and the set [Page 123]of skills which sustain a journalist through a complex, lengthy assignment. The investigative journalist's intent usually embraces the need to (justifiably) defame some person or an organization to expose a scandal and/or speed up institutional or legislative reform. Though British journalists generally face less personal hazard than those in totalitarian or gun-infested nations, the financial stakes of investigative journalism in Britain are very high because of strict defamation laws. Even if they provoke no libel claim, investigations are expensive, because of staff time and research outlay, yet may not uncover anything to publish.