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The Fourth Estate is Burning

Excerpt from Journalism in the Digital Age

The fact of the matter is that democracy requires informed citizens. No governing body can be expected to operate well without knowledge of the issues on which it is to rule, and rule by the people entails that the people should be informed. In a representative democracy, the role of the press is twofold: it both informs citizens and sets up a feedback loop between the government and voters. The press makes the actions of the government known to the public, and voters who disapprove of current trends in policy can take corrective action in the next election. Without the press, the feedback loop is broken and the government is no longer accountable to the people. The press is therefore of the utmost importance in a representative democracy.

With that in mind watch these 10 seconds and listen to the words of NBC’s Political Director Chuck Todd

Now here are two Tweets from last night after Kentucky elected a new governor. Chuck Todd and his ilk are so enamored with the horse race, they don’t actually cover the horses. Just take a look at last night’s exit polling in Kentucky, and you tell me if that is an informed electorate? I love politics, and I think political debate is a fundamental piece of our country. Not everyone should agree with me, and I should not agree with everyone. We need multiple parties with multiple ideas on taxes, health care, etc. Those ideas and debates can only work if they start based in fact. If we can’t agree the earth is round and have a media that corrects those that say the earth is flat, there is nothing to talk about.