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Essential Public Affairs for Journalists

Seventh Edition

James Morrison

01 July 2021

ISBN: 9780198869078

544 pages

In Stock

Price: £27.99

Published in partnership with the NCTJ: the essential companion for students and professionals.


Essential Public Affairs for Journalism is an invaluable guide for both journalism students and journalists. It offers engaging coverage of the workings of both central and local government, and gives stimulating insights into how they are, and could be, covered by journalists.

  • A journalism student's guide to central and local governance, exploring the relationship between public affairs and the constitutional system in the UK
  • Published in partnership with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and designed to complement accredited syllabi. This text is also recommended for a broad range of media qualifications
  • Chapters move logically through relevant topics including the economy, political parties, health care, education and housing, and conclude with 'take-home points' and 'current issues' to summarise the chapter and provide contextual knowledge
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support

New to this edition

  • Fully updated to reflect policy changes introduced by Boris Johnson's Conservative government
  • Includes detailed overviews of the key impacts on British politics, public services and the economy of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • New sections outlining the issues facing the UK post-Brexit, including an overview of the role and structure of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and expanded coverage of public transport, reflecting recent changes to the NCTJ programme of study
  • Fully revised and updated 'current issues' and 'further reading' sections

About the Author(s)

James Morrison, Reader in Journalism, Robert Gordon University

James Morrison is a Reader in Journalism at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, and a freelance journalist and writer. Previously, he was course leader of the NCTJ-accredited newspaper and magazine journalism programmes at City College Brighton and Hove and has been a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University. James is a senior examiner in public affairs for the NCTJ and a member of its Public Affairs board.

Table of Contents

    1:The British constitution and monarchy
    2:Parliamentary democracy in the UK
    3:Prime minister, Cabinet, and government
    4:Britain's electoral systems
    5:Political parties, party funding, and lobbying
    6:The National Health Service
    7:The Treasury, industry, and the utilities
    8:Social security and home affairs
    9:The origins and structure of local government
    10:Financing local government
    11:Local government decision-making
    12:Local government accountability and elections
    14:Planning policy and environmental protection
    16:Children's services and adult social care
    17:Transport, environment, leisure, and culture
    18:Freedom of information


"A very engaging and thorough textbook offering the latest insight into public affairs. Morrison presents complex issues in an interesting way that engages journalism students." - Sallyann Halliday, Senior Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University

"It is a key text for all students considering entering the field of journalism." - Claire Wolfe, Principal Lecturer in Journalism, University of Worcester