what is the fourth estate

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Public press

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  • What does the term Fourth Estate mean?

  • The term fourth estate is used to describe the press. Describing journalists and the news outlets for which they work as members of the fourth estate is an acknowledgment of their influence and status among the greatest powers of a nation, the author William Safire once wrote. The term goes back centuries…

  • What is the role of the Fourth Estate in a democracy?

  • The fourth estate refers to the watchdog role of the press, one that is important to a functioning democracy. Role of the Fourth Estate The First Amendment to the Constitution frees the press from government control or oversight. But that freedom carries with it a responsibility to be the people’s watchdog.

  • What’s going on with the Fourth Estate at DoD?

  • In 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper directed Pentagon officials to scrutinize Fourth Estate spending in an effort to put money toward technology development and other priorities. In January 2020, he announced that he had found $5.7 billion to shift. More recently, DOD has been working to upgrade the Fourth Estate’s IT services.

  • Is the press the 4th Estate?

  • The notion that the Press is the fourth estate rests on the idea that the media function is to act as a guardian of the public interest and as a watchdog on the activities of government.

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