preview

Watchdog Journalism Is An Ideal Impossible

Decent Essays
TOPIC 3: MANY JOURNALISTS BELIEVE THAT THEIR ROLE IS TO HOLD POWERFUL SOCIAL ACTORS TO ACCOUNT AND TO ACT AS A WATCHDOG AGAINST THE ABUSE POWER. IS THIS REALISTIC?

Although many journalists consider as a major duty to denounce the violation of the citizens’ rights by acting like watchdogs, more and more authors think watchdog journalism is an ideal impossible to reach, worst, a meaningless concept concealing trade rules by elites and capitalism.
Watchdog journalism is defined as a “form of journalism that seeks to hold public institutions accountable by tracking and investigating their activities. Seen as the opposite to lapdog journalism, watchdog journalism draws from aspirations that journalism acts as a surrogate for the public in that it has a critical role to play in keeping the public sphere vibrant and the body politic healthy. Keeping a close watch on political, economic and other public institutions is an important way to achieve those ideals.” (Keywords in News and Journalism Studies, Barbie Zelizer and Stuart Allan, 2010, UK, p170). This is embodied in the traditional idea of a ‘fourth estate’, historically accredited to Edmund Burke and which make reference to the three traditional powers we can find in a democracy and describe by Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws (1748): the executive power, the legislative power and the judiciary power. Like this, the Medias, and more particularly journalists would be the fourth estate of the democracy, a
Get Access