Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Fourth Estate, Where Did It Go?



As the civilised (is that still accurate?) world continues to emerge and progress from its early times  The Fourth Estate is all but dead and buried and a Fifth Estate is becoming a far more effective force in 21st century politics in the free world as a source of information

Two hundred years ago there were societal groups that fell into three "Estates"
The first was the church.
The second was the Nobility.
The third  estate was all the leftovers who were slowly finding the first two could only exist with the consent of that third bunch who were by far the most numerous.

Our Westminster system basically combined 1st and 2nd with leading figures of the church included as  nobility in the house of lords.

Then Caxton lit a fire with his printing press where anyone who could write and think at the same time founded a fourth estate that could variously control and disseminate information with their written word.

That so called  "fourth estate"  had a potentially awesome power because they could actually inform the masses when the former "truths" as desired by the Church and the ruling Nobility could be questioned and ultimately exposed as the total manipulations they so often were.
For the Church and the ruling classes to continue their hold over the governed they variously attempted to muzzle or at the very least manipulate the "Media" who were too often to become crusaders with the "Power of the Pen" to present events more accurately than was desirable for those clinging to power.
History is littered with examples of creative souls condemned because they dared to express an opinion that didn't suit.

Alas that esteemed fourth estate is now only a shadow of its once powerful self. Any Journalist with talent and ability is snapped up by those wishing to enhance their power to put their  message out leaving the dross and the ignorant to promote those messages  with out any nous to edit, check or question the Press Release created by the better wordsmiths.

That has led to some suggesting there is now a 'fifth estate' made up by those who employ social media, blogs and internet news links to disseminate stories that the old estates, including a fourth estate that are fast being regarded as a Media Party doing the bidding of wannabees of  the ruling cliques.

That old standard from the sixties anti war movement "where have all the flowers gone" seems applicable.

No comments: