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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.


An obituary is an article published after a person's death, summarizing his/her life, its achievements and possibly any notable failures. A well-read part of upmarket newspapers, in which they usually command a special page, obituaries are written in a more literary style than news articles (Starck, 2004a, 2004b).

Max Hastings, former editor of the Daily Telegraph, credited his obituaries editor Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd with transforming its obituary column ‘from a murky backwater of the paper into the most brilliant feature of its kind in the business’ (2002: 94–5).

If a subject is particularly famous or prominent, and especially if very old, long obituaries are prepared while the subject lives, to guard against the deadline pressures caused by sudden death.

Obituaries can provide an opportunity for journalists to revisit bygone ...

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