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At its most basic, journalism consists in finding things out then telling people about them via newspapers, radio, television or the Internet. It's not a product, but a process, one that used to be seen as a one-way street but more recently has been conceived as involving an audience which will filter messages through its own experiences and understanding (Harcup, 2004) and arrive at its own reading.

The notion that journalism has a social role runs throughout many discussions of what it is. According to McNair (2002: 9), it is ‘an account of the existing real world as appropriated by the journalist and processed in accordance with the particular requirements of the journalistic medium through which it will be disseminated to some section of the public’. ...

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