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What is the role of journalism and news - the fourth estate??

It is suppose to be the 4th Estate, a system of balance and check for the government. What happened that journalism has turned into mind numbling entertainment, little research, and the status quo?

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Daniel Sinker - Journalism faculty member at Columbia College, Chicago

Posted March 13, Protected content Song Ain't About You":

The Media Misses the Real Message of the Stewart/Cramer Interview

Protected content

"When we can't compete with a comic in terms of speaking truth to power, then it's more clear than ever that journalism in the US has lost its way. It comes as no surprise then when, as newspapers crumble around the country, a report like the one released by the Pew Research Center this week says that only 33% of people would miss their local newspaper "a lot." When you lead with a story about an interview that happened on a comedy show--and it's the very same story that almost everyone else is leading with as well--what's to miss?

What's to miss--the refrain is always repeated--is the investigative reporting that helps to keep our leaders honest, our water clean, our businesses pure. What's to miss is people asking fearless questions to those that need them asked. What's to miss is the deep pockets that can fund a reporter to dig and dig and dig until she's able to uncover some fragile truth. And yes, that stuff is vital to the functioning of a democracy. It also, let's speak the truth here, doesn't happen very often."

World Forum