The Fourth (Fifth?) Estate and You

The greatest government watchdog is the media

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Edmund Burke is said to have coined the phrase "Fourth Estate" in the 18th CenturyMaria Miller.  Gone today and good riddance say publicThe News of the World finally got a screwing themselvesFrom the New York Times as the press takes over from government nosies
Edmund Burke is said to have coined the phrase "Fourth Estate" in the 18th Century
Edmund Burke is said to have coined the phrase "Fourth Estate" in the 18th Century
Maria Miller.  Gone today and good riddance say public
Maria Miller. Gone today and good riddance say public
The News of the World finally got a screwing themselves
The News of the World finally got a screwing themselves
From the New York Times as the press takes over from government nosies
From the New York Times as the press takes over from government nosies

Maria Miller joins the Unemployed for Fiddling Her Expenses


Many contributers on Hub Pages take on the mantle of being members of the Fourth Estate. Especially when they are political commentators. Most people know vaguely what the term means: there are the first two "Estates," Lords Temporal and Spiritual and, third, the House of Commons.*

Number 4, which concerns writers and specifically journalists, is the estate which has gained power in modern times making the press (and all media) in equal terms with the government - the 3rd Estate, the Commons. (In fact, even as far back as Oscar Wilde's time, he was saying the Fourth Estate was becoming the "only" real area of influence). This is why there is so much conflict with the press in Britain today, the press becoming all powerful and the government trying to draw their teeth in reports like Leveson.


(The Leveson Inquiry is a judicial public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the Britishpress following the News International phone hacking scandal, chaired by Lord Justice Leveson, who was appointed in July 2011. A series of public hearings were held throughout 2011 and 2012. The Inquiry published the Leveson Report in November 2012, which reviewed the general culture and ethics of the British media, and made recommendations for a new, independent, body to replace the existing Press Complaints Commission, which would be recognised by the state through new laws. Part 2 of the inquiry has been deferred until after criminal prosecutions regarding events at the News of the World)

Attributed to Wikipedia)

And this is why you see much unofficial collusion by the leading newspapers, like the Times, Mail, Mirror and the other 3 or 4 distribution leaders. You can sniff out their left, right or center bias, but it is buried often as the papers have found that "United we stand, divided we fall."

Presenting a united front in opposition to government efforts to limit the powers of the press has been largely successful, despite the blow received by the Murdoch scandal, echoes of which still reverberate throughout the media and did, indeed, result in one huge casualty, the powerful Murdoch vehicle, the News of the World, being forced into closure a couple of years ago. (The - by then tamed - scandal- rag was once known to all Brits as "The Screws of the World"). But the paper gradually moved away from smut when people with hard and soft ponography available on Uporn, etc., at the touch of a button, were bored about reading of who "did" what or to whom in a newspaper, "Heck, we're all at it!"

It was the demise of the very powerful and influential "News" that caused the closing of ranks by the other members of the leading print-press and the situation we have today.

The press scored a major victory today (April 9th 2014) with the resignation after two weeks of denial by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, who was discovered to have concealed some £40,000 pounds in expenses...she eventually paid back only around £8,500 of this amount and apologized in a abbreviated and somewhat arrogant manner in the House. This appeased no one and as she was involved in Leveson, the press and, ipso facto, the public, sick of officials with their mucky paws in the cookie jar, set about her in no uncertain manner.

One can only look with some pity - plus revulsion - on the government today, composed as it is with about 95% public school and Oxbridge graduates. These usually verbose and facile administrators (learned in "public manipulation 101") picked from this track are told from the cradle to the grave that they are special, and that the world is their oyster if they appear to do a few hours work a day on behalf of the deluded who elect them. If you go to Oxford or Cambridge and favor politics, law or finance, etc., you soon find this to be true as you become part of a Freemason-like, powerful "Buddy System" who will help you until old age in every endeavour you attempt in life. This is why you find so many inept men and women in positions of some - or a lot of - power. No matter if you have the physical presence of a Blob Fish (see my article), and the mental acuity of Shrek; you are hooked on poontang, cross-dressing, gambling, fags, booze and the rest, your more able classmates with make sure you fit in somewhere..."Wanna be Culture Secretary, Flo?" The same critique applies to Royalty and many Bankers, etc., who all went to Eton/Harrow and Oxbridge.

We may soon find the "Fifth Estate," suggested in the movie about Wikileaks, becoming an ever more powerful reality, encompassing as it does the World Wide Web and all the riches and woes the Internet has brought to us all.

This writer was never a political journalist, far from it, my main forte was sports, with work as a entertaining columnist. But as beginning contributers will discover, the pen can be "mightier than the sword," and all they write will have influence on reader's thinking and/or knowledge, to a lesser or greater degree.

But as to what estate we all belong today, maybe to the new kid on the block, the Fifth, as well as the established Fourth, online bloggers have greater influence every day, although most will find it hard to make any money outside of true TV or Press journalism (wanna break in to mainstream media? Are you an Eton toff and an Oxbridge graduate? Yeah, there too!).

Paper and print media and books are still competing on more or less equal terms with the electronic media and publishing. To many, there is still nothing like the feel and convenience of a novel. Electronic readers cannot replace a fiction book for pleasure and convenience, unless the price of downloads drops considerably. Text books may be having a rougher time with all the sites like Wikipedia and online encyclopedias taking over and giving out the specific information students and reasearchers are seeking, without having to spend ££££'s on high-priced texts they will never need subsequently.

Amazon and Ebay, etc., provide access to used books in as new condition for a fraction of the bookshop prices, even when postage is factored in. But this wordsmith will admit to being a wee bit prejudiced and old fashioned in his outlook. I suppose kids born in this Millennium and in the future might get a Kimble reader, etc., at Christmas or for a very early birthday gift and might never buy a print publication again! Sad, say my generation.

So Mr and Ms noviate Contributer, glance down at your computer keyboard and reflect over the power throbbing at your fingertips that can be assembled from all those keys. Reading often, and avidly, will give you a life-time of pleasure: as will actually writing about a variety of subjects (more and more "stuff" is increasing the sum total of human knowledge and readers look for information about it). Someone once said a person could once "know" all available information in the world: but now, one person can't even "know" all there is to know about a blade of grass.

The one or two wonderful things about publishing, even in a modest way like on HP, is that you make friends and garner admirers (and critics of course). It is an art and a hobby and brings its own satisfaction even if the £.s.d. (big bucks) is lacking.

*Look the other "Estates" up online, they pretty boring and the House of Lords is a weary anachronism we all wish would fade and die.

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Comments 16 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

In the US, the former Fourth Estate (AKA: the mainstream media) has willingly merged with the political class, abdicating its constitutionally protected duty to inform the public and almost disappearing into the loving arms of the left.

The Fifth Estate (the new Fourth Estate?) consists of FOXNews, talk radio, and, as you have correctly pointed out, internet bloggers. We are equally despised by the left, the political class, and the tatters of the former Fourth Estate.

Excellent work, Bob, and, as an old sportswriter, would you someday take the time to explain cricket to this bewildered American?


diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Really! Merging with the political class, no hope then. Interesting Will.

Ha! Explain cricket! Few Brits know of the finer points of the game. It's a lot livelier today with limited over games. If you can get the Indian League on your TV, watch it, marvellous. The games last one day only and they have to hit out and get sixes (over the boundary without touching down...6 runs..like a home run in baseball sort of) You'll love it.

Nice to see you, matey

Bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Well, that certainly cleared it up!

Sorry, Bob, but I'm asking for a complete Hub on the topic, when you find the time and the will to indulge and educate your devoted Yankee cousin.

The so-called mainstream media in the US simply refuses to report many of the items that might make Obama and the Democrats look bad. It's a disgrace.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

hey ho...you drive a hard bargain, Will, well, I know a bit about so stand by

Bob


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

“Someone once said a person could once "know" all available information in the world: but now, one person can't even "know" all there is to know about a blade of grass.”

Lol! Kudos, Bob, on a superbly written article that was a pleasure to read. Voted up on all buttons and shared. This was a pleasure. :-)


diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Lovely and rewarding comment, Genna, thanks

Bob x


Aaron 2 years ago

I've often heard that counterjihadis like Geert Wilders get away with "hate speceh" because they use "free speceh" as an excuse. Seems this view is especially widespread in places like Britain, and especially among younger people - brainwashed into thinking that ideas such as "racism" are sooo evil they need any method possible to stop them... But what would a world without free speceh look like? In reality, almost any idea that touches on political subjects, or even some scientific ones, will be found by some to be "offensive". In the past, this may have included saying things like "the earth is not flat", when almost all people believed it was - and when such a view may have challenged some religious scriptures (the Old Testament makes clear references to the "heavens above").Would the unparalleled growth of Western society have been possible without free speceh? Where would democracy have been? Even the idea that blacks should have equal rights as whites would in days gone by have been seen as "offensive" to many whites in Southern US states. Who's to say that in 50 years' time, the general view of Mohammed won't be of him being a sex-obsessed warlord, not too different from that in the film in question here? And that the viewpoints of the mainstream press now won't be seen as ridiculously cowardly and submissive?The one thing for certain is that we cannot be certain of the right, or wrong, view on any given issue - and of what it will be in 50 years' time. That is why, if we want our democratic societies to survive and not descend into Soviet or Islamic-style totalitarianism, the FIRST thing we must defend is free speceh...


diogenes profile image

diogenes 2 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Yep, I agree


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

I rented several of my text books for my classes at university. Before that bought them used, but they smelled and looked like new -- expect in reality they had never been opened.

It is possible to rent a textbook online now, that is, access it for a small fee online. I've done that and I frankly don't like it. When I want to read something lengthy I prefer to have the book or journal.

You might be surprised at how many people don't want to know anything about anything and readily admit it. Someone told me just the other day that they didn't want to have to think. Somehow I knew that before they stated it and from what I can tell they are very successful with their wish.

More people need to read your stuff . . . I don't always agree with it, but it is good for getting the thinker stoked up.


diogenes 2 years ago

Hello Au Fait. If I tremble a bit as I open your comments it is because I usually respect them. Same with your articles.

I have been on hit lists in the past for my stance re: the PRI (political party) in Mexico so I am aware of the power - and danger - of the press.

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas

Interesting. I suppose the less freedom that exists the more controlling are the powers that be. What do you think? I've never experienced politics anywhere else so I really don't have an opinion since it would be without foundation.

I don't pretend to know much of anything about politics in any other country than the U.S. Here, I have been immersed in politics for many years and that makes a lot of difference. Here the slant of newspapers, magazines, TV news, books, and people themselves are pretty obvious for those who know what they're looking for. Trouble is, most people don't know and they imagine that if they don't know, that no one else knows either.


diogenes 2 years ago

Politicians are a group of people with the gift of the gab who have found a way to make a lot of money without much work. Everything they do after election is to do anything to try to hang on to power and get re-elected. Meanwhile, they stab at doing things for the country that any tradesman or artisan could do a lot better. In the end, it is the latter skilled workers who sort out the messes they make.

They are devious liars and avoid telling the truth about anything. Many are crooks and deviants such as pederasts and paedophiles. Like lice, we have to put up with them because the general public are idiots.

r xo


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

"Politicians are a group of people with the gift of the gab who have found a way to make a lot of money without much work. Everything they do after election is to do anything to try to hang on to power and get re-elected. Meanwhile, they stab at doing things for the country that any tradesman or artisan could do a lot better. In the end, it is the latter skilled workers who sort out the messes they make.

They are devious liars and avoid telling the truth about anything. Many are crooks and deviants such as pederasts and paedophiles. Like lice, we have to put up with them because the general public are idiots."

I wonder if we would be better off to select our representatives the same way we we select jurors. They could hardly do worse.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 2 years ago from Maui and Arizona

I really enjoyed this hub. The journalist in you really came out and spoke to us.

I remember when I was about 25 years old and living still in Canada. I learned one day by happenstance that the Minister of Finance did not have an education in finance. The Minister of Education did not have an education in the educating fields -- and on and on. I could hardly believe it! 'Twas my first glimpse of politics. However, I am an idealist and I do still believe there are a few good politicians around.

"...glance down at your computer keyboard and reflect over the power throbbing at your fingertips that can be assembled from all those keys." I couldn't agree more. I wish I had the energy to go with my convictions and aspirations to convey those convictions -- but sometimes I can barely remember the aspirations. It's called the 60's. But truly, if we have some important causes we want to help bring to the fore, we have the power within us in some way or form through publishing. Voting way up, sharing and pinning.


diogenes 2 years ago

Hi Pamela. We have a slightly different problem here. Our government is all buddies from Oxford or Cambridge - 99% of them! They get a ministerial appointment from the PM and immediately become experts overnight in the area handed to them! What they are all really qualified in is bull---t!

bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Our government is also a 'good old boys (and girls) club', more concerned with belonging to the elitist class than with looking out for the rights and freedoms of We, the People.

And we also realizing that a charming but incompetent 'community organizer' is not necessarily a good leader, even if he can deliver a great speech.

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