What is news? Why does news turn out like it does? Social Meanings of News takes on these deceptively simple questions through an essential collection of classic and contemporary studies by leaders in the field of mass communication. Rather than applying a journalist's viewpoint to answer the questions, the book starts from the premise that news is a human construction shaped by the social world from which it emerges. In order to bridge the book's multiple methodologies and varied research approaches, Editor Dan Berkowitz introduces a conceptual scheme based on level of analysis and research paradigm. Each of the following six sections begins with an overview to help the student glean key concepts and understand their implications. The book then closes with an epilogue offering carefully crafted, yet concise examples of how concepts can be applied to study news from a socially-oriented perspective.