You are here

Resources to help you teach online

See our resources page for information, support and best practices.

Due to the current restrictions in place, our inspection copy policy has changed. Please refer to our updated inspection copy policy for details.

Understanding Journalism

Understanding Journalism

Second Edition

Other Titles in:

December 2012 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The new era of Google, Twitter and Facebook has fundamentally shifted the journalist's relationship with the audience. To navigate these new realities, it is imperative for journalism students to master skills in cross-platform writing, and understand the implications on their communication decisions.

This second edition of Understanding Journalism tackles these changes head-on. It integrates media and cultural theory with the step-by-step development of writing skills to give students the techniques and the savvy they need to succeed. Bigger and better, this new edition includes:
  • A new chapter on who journalists are in the social media age
  • Reorganization of journalism skills chapters to bring writing and editing to the fore
  • Full coverage and examples on Twitter, social media, SMS formats
  • In-depth exploration of the ethical issues raised by new media platforms
  • All new exercises, case scenarios and further readings
It is the essential guide for all students of journalism.

Who is a Journalist?
Journalism as Decision Making
Finding News
Choosing News
Sourcing News
Gathering News
Writing News
Editing News
Taking News Further



Lynette Sheridan Burns' second edition of her classic text is beautifully written, clearly structured and brings the professional experience of a seasoned journalist to help readers unravel the complex issues confronting journalism in an age of digital media. Understanding Journalism deserves a place on every reading list about journalism and in every newsroom.

Bob Franklin
Cardiff University

Professor Lynette Sheridan Burns is a global pioneer in applying the 'reflective practice' approach to journalism education - teaching students how to report effectively within ethical boundaries. In this new edition of Understanding Journalism she takes that approach into the Web 2.0 environment in an accessible yet scholarly way. Sheridan Burns shows reporters how to engage with other citizens on social media while ensuring their multiplatform journalism techniques and ethics set them apart from a rising tide of amateur gossip mongers. This book sets the standard as the truly international primer for journalists.

Mark Pearson
Bond University

Sheridan Burns doesn’t offer recommendations but instead poses questions that prompt the journalist to better comprehend his or her work. What are the facts? Are there any questions that remain unanswered? Is there another angle to the story? What are my ethical concerns? Can I clearly and fully justify my thinking and my decision? These are the sort of thought-provoking inquiries that the author prompts us to reflect upon – to critically reflect upon... Summing up, this is a very interesting book that I am sure will be useful to journalism students and to all those people who, as Sheridan Burns, vindicate that journalism – critical journalism – plays a crucial role in society.

Ana Polo Alonso
LSE Review of Books

This is an excellent book and is required reading for the serious student of journalism. Great academic and industry sources.

Mr Barry Turner
Lincoln School of Journalism, University of Lincoln
June 27, 2014

This book is great for the level learners I have and will be useful to them in this course and if they go on to study journalism futher

Miss Rachael Rodgers
Digital media , Doncaster College
June 15, 2013

An interesting text for students interested in developing their understanding of how today's journalists operate.

Ms Mary Williams
School of Social Historical and Literary Studies, Portsmouth University
April 25, 2013

Essential for students wishing to understand key issues in journalism.

Ms Mary Williams
School of Social Historical and Literary Studies, Portsmouth University
April 25, 2013

Some good insights into the profession.

Mr Philip Cowan
Media, University of Hertfordshire
February 15, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1