• Summary
  • Contents

The SAGE Key Concepts series provides 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 Public Relations:

  • Provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use overview to the field
  • Covers over 150 central concepts in PR
  • Paves the way for students to tackle primary texts
  • Grounds students in both practice and theory
  • Takes it further with recommended reading
Dumbing Down
Dumbing down

Advocates and opponents of the ‘dumbing down debate’ argued about the extent to which changing news values and news formats, evident in print and broadcast journalism during the 1980s and 1990s, were resulting in a ‘dumbing down’ of the reporting of news and current affairs. The debate engaged media academics (Sampson, 1996; Franklin, 1997), as well as print (Engel, 1996) and broadcast journalists (Clarke, 2003; Humphrys, 2005), who criticised national and local media for ‘dumbing down’, moving to ‘tabloid’ formats and stories and offering trivial ‘infotainment’ or ‘Newszak’ rather than ‘high quality’ programming and news and current affairs. Distinguished editor Harold Evans warned fellow journalists against ‘the drift from substantive news to celebrity hunting, from news to entertainment’ (1996: 1). But the ...

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