Journalism is the branch of mass communications that provides large numbers of people with the knowledge they need to help them make good decisions about issues currently affecting their personal and public lives. Journalism not only provides news but also presents interpretation, evaluation, and persuasion. Any discussion about journalism requires a common understanding of basic terms and concepts. By defining what journalism is, this book provides the answers to many questions and debates about the current state of the mass media: What is news? Is journalism concerned with more than news? What are the purposes of editorials? Is it good or bad to combine journalism and fiction? Is it possible to report the news objectively? How are public relations and advertising related to journalism? This coherent, general theory explores the function and roles of journalism vital to our personal and public well-being and offers valuable insight in areas affected by journalism such as politics, education, and the law.