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.


Defamation is the communication of a statement which ruins or diminishes the reputation of an individual or organization. An allegation that someone is dishonest or a hypocrite or adulterous is always likely to be defamatory. If a defamatory allegation is made in a permanent form (e.g. sent to a third party in a letter or email, or published in a newspaper, magazine or on a website) the defamed person can sue the writer and publisher for libel in the civil courts. Unless the allegation can be proved true, or there is legal ‘privilege’ or other legal defence, the court will declare it to be libellous, which means the defamed person or organization will be awarded financial damages, to be paid by the writer and publisher, ...

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