The Fifth Estate
Publication Type:Book Chapter
Source:Issues of Journalistic Ethics and Freedom in the Contemporary Age of Digital Media, Subarnarekha and Journalism Congress, Calcutta University, Kolkata, India (2012)
Keywords:fourth estate, Hypodermic needle theory, magic bullet, watchdog
The Indian media has a great impact on the Indians and thus can be said to be very effectual. Not only does it help to create opinion, the media personnel has been capable enough to change the very thinking process of the citizens. However, the phenomenon, though similar, is not completely the one as narrated in the Magic Bullet or Hypodermic needle theory of Mass Communication.
On one side, the Indian media, which is the fourth estate or the watchdog of the society, has been very effective in shaping the thought process of Indian minds. On the other side, it is the fifth estate which is watching the actions of the watchdog and motivating them, too, through discussions, report coverage and action over the social media like virtual social networks, blogs, personal websites, letter to editors, special forums, non-governmental organizations and the like.
Thus, though it is true that Indian media has enough capacity to dictate the audience by changing the latter’s thought process, it is this audience in the form of fifth estate who is actually governing everything. Hence, truly journalism in Indian democracy is a profession run by the people for the people and is of the people.
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