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.

Hierarchy of Influences

Hierarchy of influences

A theoretical framework, developed in Shoemaker and Reese (1996), which examines news media in relation to ‘levels of analysis’ and investigates the way factors which influence the production of news operate ‘both separately and in conjunction with each other’ (Reese, 2001: 178). The helpful text-reader by Berkowitz (1997) was also organized in accordance to this approach, with chapters grouped into sections which ‘focus on different degrees of social aggregation–individual, organizational, institutional and societal’ influences on journalism and news production (ibid.: xiii).

Taking each of these levels of analysis in turn: news can first be studied as the product of (individual) journalists. In the words of Gieber (1964), ‘news is what newspapermen make it’ and this approach is perhaps best embodied in early ...

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