The systematic exploration within a university environment of the history, practices and processes of journalism and their political and cultural impacts has never been without its critics. Let’s start our exposition by considering the following statement by a senior journalist who has direct experience both of working at a leading university and of publishing both by himself and in co-operation with professional academics on the subject of journalism:

This book will explore the development in Britain of an area of academic study which has emerged quite recently: Journalism Studies. The subject of this introductory text is, institutionally, the name often given to the study of journalism within a critical and often academic setting. It is located almost exclusively within the university sector, although this book will stress the often essential

contributions made by journalists from outside this arena. It will look at the sorts of critical interrogation which both scholars and journalists who are interested in the civic and cultural impact of journalism have brought to contemporary considerations of its practice. On the one hand, such study could be considered as having had a long gestation period; on the other hand, it could be considered as constituting, especially in Britain, a short yet dynamic moment in the longer history of communication studies.