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.


The process through which words and images stand in for ideas, individuals, social groups and other categories. In the words of Pickering (2001: xiii), representations have the power to select, arrange and prioritize certain assumptions and ideas about different kinds of people, bringing some to the fore, dramatizing and idealizing or demonizing them, while casting others into the social margins, so that they have little active public presence or only a narrow and negative public image.

A great deal of academic ink has been spilt attempting to pin down the relationship between representation and reality and, specifically, the extent to which words or images either accurately characterize or twist ‘reality’. In describing this process of media (misrepresentation, analysts have utilized a range of metaphors including ...

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