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.
Claims of sensationalism, which is the use and presentation of content designed to cause interest or excitement, have been levelled at journalists since at least the 1880s during which decade W.T. Stead distinguished it from untrue or exaggerated journalism and described it as ‘justifiable up to the point that it is necessary to arrest the eye of the public and compel them to admit the necessity of action’ (Stead, cited in Bromley, 1998b: 29–30).
[Page 242]Closely linked to the dumbing down debate, sensationalism has increasingly been associated almost exclusively with the tabloid press (Bromley 1998b: 84) and the creed of the Daily Mirror, printed as a front-page manifesto by Silvester Bolam, editor from 1948 to 1953, might apply to all tabloids:
The Mirror is a sensational newspaper. ...