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.


Literally, the plural of medium, or the channel in and through which messages are communicated, whether by written, spoken or otherwise semiotic means. Therefore, in contrast to an increasingly unwelcome trend, we write: ‘the news media are’ not ‘the news media is’; and ‘the news media have’ not ‘the news media has’.

When people refer to the media more often than not they are in fact referring to the mass media. Mass media are the impersonal – in other words institutionalized – means of mass communication through which messages are transmitted to an audience. They are characterized by ‘a mechanism of impersonal reproduction’ (Klapper, 1949: 3) which acts as a go-between, connecting a speaker and relatively large, heterogeneous and non-present audience. Mass media therefore include ...

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