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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 counterpart of transitivity, modality refers to comment and attitude in language, and the degree to which a speaker or writer is committed to the claim s/he is making. Modality is usually indicated via the use of modal verbs (such as may, could, should, will, must), their negations (may not, couldn't, shouldn't, will not and must not) or through adverbs (certainly). A regular feature of more ‘opinionated’ genres of journalism such as the editorial, the letter and the op/ed page, modality may be expressed in two principal forms: truth modality; and obligation modality. Truth modality varies along a scale of options from the absolutely categorical (‘This war will be stopped if the people intervene in the political process’) through to varying degrees of hedging (‘We ...

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