Because of this unique position, the media can be considered something of a ‘fourth branch of government’ as an informed citizenry is part of the checks and balances of a society. In many ways, society depends upon the media to hold our elected officials accountable. However, society also expects to be entertained creating some difficulty in ascertaining whether the media is capable of delivering the truth. Media acts as the link between people’s personal lives to events outside what they encounter in their everyday routine so truth is important, but can truth be defined in such black and white terms? It seems clear that while professional journalists do everything they can to deliver a truthful and verifiable report, truth is often more subjective than one might be tempted to believe.
Television is a truly democratic mass medium that spreads information uniformly without regard to wealth, position or education and has clearly broadened our political dialogue. Its abilities as a mass communicator are rivaled only by the internet which has not yet caught up to the television in every home concept. The average community in the developed world now receives more than 30 channels of television with many areas receiving literally hundreds of choices at the click of a button. This diversity of programming presents perspectives regarding every conceivable characteristic of society. The viewing public has the chance to view Parliament in session and thus take a more active interest in the decisions that will have some bearing on their lives at home. Other channels or an internet search will enable them to become more informed about the issues under debate and this better-informed citizen can then make wiser decisions during the next election cycle. With all of these potential social conduits, there are now greater opportunities for political leaders to ensure