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.


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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