Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, University of Missouri School of Law, has published Symposium: Truth, Trust and the First Amendment in the Digital Age, Foreword: Whither the Fourth Estate? at 83 Missouri Law Review 907 (2018). Here is the abstract.
As a professor of Media Law, I have devoted my career over the past quarter of a century to the idea that the press plays a special role in our democracy. That role is largely encapsulated by the concept of the press as Fourth Estate - an unofficial branch of government in our scheme of separation of powers that checks the power of the three official branches. In our constitutional scheme, the press is the watchdog that informs us what the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government are up to and continually replenishes the stock of news - real news - that enables informed public discussion and rational public policy. Currently many observers, including the distinguished contributors (Professors Sonja West and RonNell Andersen Jones) to our Price Sloan Symposium Issue, believe that the Fourth Estate is under threat. The threat comes from various quarters.
Download the essay from SSRN at the link.