Fourth Estate

Fourth estate is another name given to the press, or news media. In the 18th, 19th, and much of the 20th century, it referred to the print news media. Later it began to be used to refer to all news media, including print, broadcast, and digital.

The term fourth estate is often used to refer to the news media’s role as a watchdog over government. The term is pervasive in Western culture, having been used as the title of a journal, a novel, and a television documentary series, among other uses. The student newspaper at George Mason University in Virginia is titled Fourth Estate. In the 21st century, the term fifth estate has sometimes been used to refer to nonprofessional citizen journalists who write and ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles