Reviving the Fourth Estate: Democracy, Accountability and the Media

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Schultz observes that the Fourth Estate has proven to be a remarkably flexible concept. What was once described as the space where reporters sat while documenting the proceedings of the House of Commons, the Fourth Estate later described the more nebulous ideals connected with those in positions of power and influence. Traditionally, the news media acted as the watchdog of democracy, but varied in meaning in response to changing political and economic circumstances. Today, it is also a major global industry." "Julianne Schultz considers the ramifications of this intersection by analysing the role of journalism in Australia, the scope of its democratic purpose and the relationship of the Fourth Estate to the other 'estates': the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. She finds that, while the ideal of the Fourth Estate is still upheld by most journalists, the reality has been seriously impaired by the increasing concentration of media ownership in Australia and by political, ethical and career interests.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this important new book, journalist and academic Julianne Schultz observes that the commercial nature of the news media is a source of both strength and weakness. Its publishers have rightly described it as a ground-breaking text that makes a major contribution to debates about the media and public interest in Austrialia." John Tidey, Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers Association

"Books on the media are relatively few. Generally, they range between two extremes: austerely academic and inconsequently anecdotal. 'Reviving the Fourth Estate' is one of the exceptions. Julianne has combined learning with experience. The result is a work of intelligence and authority." Brian Johns, Managing Director, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521620420
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Series: Reshaping Australian Institutions Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Introduction: Paradoxes of the Bastard Estate 1
1 Redefining the Fourth Estate 15
2 The Fourth Estate: A Changing Doctrine 23
3 The Idealised Watchdog Estate 47
4 The Other Estates Question the Fourth 69
5 Contests to the Institutional Legitimacy of the Fourth Estate 95
6 Accepting the Ideal 117
7 Testing the Ideal 136
8 From Reporting to Investigating 166
9 Challenging Power: Reporting in the 1980s 195
10 Reviving the Fourth Estate 230
Appendix 239
List of References 277
Index 293
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