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.


In essence, narrative is ‘the story’. ‘Journalists’, Bell argues ‘are professional story tellers of our age. The fairy tale starts: “Once upon a time.” The news story begins: “Fifteen people were injured today when a bus plunged …” The journalist's work is focused on the getting and writing of stories’ (1991: 147) and ‘good stories’ are always at the centre of good journalism.

When considering narratives, we first need to distinguish between the narrative content and the narrative form (Montgomery et al., 2000). Narrative content is the actual sequence of events in the story: in essence, the plot, or the structure of actions. The basic narrative structure, first discussed by Aristotle in his Poetics (1962), develops along the following trajectory: introduction of characters and setting, ...

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