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.

Silly Season

Silly season

The summer month of August is traditionally viewed as journalism's silly season, in which there is very little serious news, allowing senior editorial staff in particular to take holidays. Politicians are in the middle of their long break from Parliamentary duty and government offices are short-staffed, suggesting nothing of major importance is likely to happen and resulting in the media turning to the reporting of more trivial matters (Williams, 2002).

However, history shows that in fact the ‘silliest August story of all is the idea that it's quiet… the news keeps on breaking’. The start of the Vietnam War (1964), the erection of the Berlin Wall (1961), the IRA's assassination of Lord Louis Mountbatten (1979), Iraq's invasion of Kuwait (1990) and the death ...

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