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.


Derived from Ferdinand de Saussure's (1974) structuralist linguistics, signification is a useful concept in the study of language and culture, offering a theory of how meanings are produced and distributed and a method of analysing them. Saussure divides a sign into two component parts: the signifier and the signified. The signifier is the actual word – for example, the word ‘dog’ – and the signified is the concept or idea that this word refers to – in this case, a (usually) four-legged (usually) domesticated canine animal. The relation between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary (though this is not the case with icons), and together they make up the sign. Meaning is produced through a process of selection and combination, where signs are selected ...

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