What are the current problems, pressures and opportunities facing journalists in advanced democratic societies? Has there been a 'dumbing down' of the news agenda? How can serious political, economic and social news be made interesting to young people? This book explores the current challenges faced by those working in the news media, focusing especially on the responsibilities of journalism in the advanced democracies. The authors comprise experienced journalists and academics from the UK and the other countries investigated. In the opening section they investigate the key issues facing twenty-first century journalism; while in section two they offer in-depth studies of the UK news media, discussing national newspapers; regional and local newspapers, both paid for and free; terrestrial, satellite and cable television news; radio news and online journalism. These detailed analyses provide the basis for a comparison with the media of a variety of other key advanced democracies: namely the USA, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Drawing on this evidence, the authors map out possible future developments, paying attention to their likely global impact. The book's provocative conclusions will provide the groundwork for continuing debate amongst journalists, scholars and policy-makers concerned about the place of journalism in invigorating political processes and democratic functions.