Previous Chapter Watchdog Journalism Next Chapter

  • Citations
  • Add to My List
  • Text Size

Watchdog Journalism
Watchdog journalism

The characterization of journalism as a social ‘watchdog’ springs from a classical liberal conception of the power relationship between government and society within a democratic state. The watchdog theory of journalism is based on a pluralistic view of social power and can be seen as ‘a simple extension to the (newspaper) press of the fundamental individual rights to freedom of opinion, speech, religion and assembly’ (McQuail, 1994: 128). The watchdog metaphor imbues the press with the role of being a forum for discussion, investigators of impropriety, an adversary to monopoly over power and knowledge and the defenders of truth, freedom and democracy. This is embodied in the traditional idea of a ‘fourth estate’, historically accredited to Edmund Burke: ‘There are three estates in ...

Looks like you do not have access to this content.

Login

Don’t know how to login?

Click here for free trial login.

Back to Top

Copy and paste the following HTML into your website