Reviving the Fourth Estate: Democracy, Accountability and the Media
Cambridge University Press
1 Jan 1998
The news media is traditionally the watchdog of democracy. Today, it is also one of the most pervasive global industries. In this lively and accessible book, Schultz systematically analyses the role of journalism in Australia and the scope of its democratic purpose. She examines key news stories, and looks at the attitudes of Australian journalists themselves. The fourth estate remains the ideal of most journalists, but the reality has been impaired by the increasing concentration of media ownership and by political, ethical and occupational interests. While Australian journalism has become bolder and more investigative, increasing commercialism and decreasing ethical standards have left the public sceptical. Schultz argues for a revival of the fourth estate based on journalistic independence and poltical autonomy, together with increased accountability and responsiveness.