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.


Like its close relations, impartiality and fairness, the notion of balance lies at the heart of British broadcasting. Newspapers are not bound in the same way, although they would certainly claim to take a balanced approach to reporting. References to ‘unbalanced reporting’ underpin many complaints to broadcasters. But while the emphasis these days has shifted to ‘due impartiality’ in all Ofcom radio and television news codes of practice and the BBCProducers' Guidelines, balance seems to serve a purpose in defining impartiality itself.

The narrowest interpretation is that balance simply means saying ‘on the one hand x and the other hand y’, an even-handedness of approach. There is also the ‘stop-watch’ definition (Wilson, 1996; Harcup, 2004) which means 30 seconds for one view, 30 seconds for ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles