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.



George Bernard Shaw famously said: ‘Newspapers are unable, seemingly, to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization’ (cited in Randall, 2000). Implicit in that remark is the notion that one may be considerably more ‘newsworthy’ than the other (except perhaps to the victim of the bicycle accident). And if that's the case, then on what are journalists basing their judgement when they decide something either is or isn't news and worthy of inclusion in a newspaper or bulletin?

When asked to define news, most people would say it's something that's happened, something new, something they didn't know before, something that affects their life, or something they're interested in (Harcup, 2004). News is also about the unusual – you don't find bulletins and newspapers ...

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