This is a major new statement on the role of journalism in democracy from one of media and communication's leading thinkers. Written for students, Denis McQuail leads the reader through a systematic exploration of how and why journalism and society have become so inextricably entwines - and, just as importantly, what this relationship should look like. This is a trenchant outline for why journalism in society needs to be independent, factual, balanced, reliable, diverse in its attention and with a reason for serving its public. This book: * makes the theory accessible and relevant * teaches the importance of journalism to power and politics * explores the status and future of journalism as a profession * outlines the impact and consequences of the digital * hammers home journalism as it is, but also as it should be * takes each chapter further with guided reading list and free online journal articles. This textbook is the perfect answer to the how and why of journalism. It is crucial reading for any student of media studies, communication studies and journalism.