Journalism traditionally sees itself as having a central role in ensuring accountability in the democracy by revealing the details of debate in the political process. The term fourth estate is used to contrast the press to the legislative, executive and judicial arms of the government (Dr. Stockwell Stephen ).
But let us go back in time when the fourth estate was considered an important pillar of society. James Harrison in the first issue of his Geelong Advertiser proclaimed the press to be a "mighty engine for the promulgation of Truth". Engines of Influence shows the links in the newspaper network working to receive and share news, distribute papers and manufacture opinion. "A rich fund for the investigations of future historians", was how the Trustees saw the newspaper collection of the public Library of Victoria in 1883. This has been proved true with the frequency with which newspapers are cited in Australian histories. In fact, Alan Atkinson's history of Australia postulates and explores a relationship between the ubiquity of print and manuscript, the power of writing and development of democracy. (Mighty Engine 24th Jan 2004)
The fourth estate in the earlier days carried a certain stature and was vary of transgressing the privacy of individuals. ...Show more