• Summary
  • Contents

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.


When people have little direct knowledge of events, they become increasingly reliant on news media for information, but also an understanding or interpretation, of those events. The claim of framing theorists is that the media frame reality for their audiences: ‘how people think about an issue,’ the argument runs, ‘is dependent on how the issue is framed by the media’ (Semetko and Valkenburg, 2000: 94). The result is ‘a “media-constructed” version of reality’ (Callaghan and Schnell, 2001: 184). In this sense, framing theory forms part of a broader literature on media effects.

Gamson and Modigliani define a media frame as ‘a central organizing idea or story line that provides meaning to an upholding strip of events … The frame suggests what the controversy is about, the ...

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