Press and Government Relations

The development of news media is closely tied to the emergence of modern government. Indeed, news media have always been intimately tied to government and political institutions more generally; they are often considered a political institution, a kind of “fourth branch of government.” Early newspapers served to shape public opinion in the course of battles between and within states, to integrate citizens into developing administrative structures of the modern state, and to provide them with the information necessary to manage their interactions with those institutions.

The importance of the news media grew as popular participation in political life expanded, often through the extension of institutions of mass democratic politics, but also through authoritarian institutions for the mobilization of mass opinion. News media are tied to the ...

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