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Culture and society

A free press
A free press

Writing in On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History, Thomas Carlyle attributed to Edmund Burke the notion that there "were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all." Indeed, a free press has conventionally been held as a prerequisite for a free society, but this view has come under considerable scrutiny in recent years, with the perceived intrusions of print journalists culminating in the revelations of widespread illegal practices. How should we respond to these often shocking findings? Can the State play a role and, if so, what ought that role to be?

Click on the icons below to read our authors' analyses of these questions.

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