The Media and Politics in the United States
It is often argued that the primary political function of the press is to act as a “watchdog” warning against abuses of power by the ruling elite.
As the “fourth estate”, the US press is expected to serve as a source of substantial information for citizens about political, social, and economic issues, to keep a critical eye on public officials and watch over the general public’s interests, and to provide a forum for free and honest debate in which diverse opinions can circulate and compete freely.
In contrast, the other perspective is one that views the press as a “lapdog”, a close companion of established power.
According to this perspective, rather than serve as critic, the political function of the news media is to act more as an arm of established political and economic power.
The purpose of this academic book is to try to comprehend whether the “fourth estate” functions primarily as an instrument providing constraints on the Power Elite, or whether it serves to promote the interests of the powerful.
It would be of great interest for Political Science and American Studies’ students and researchers interested by the functioning of American Democracy.
Dr Wassim Daghrir is a Tunisan professor, researcher, and author whose areas of research interest include Cultural Studies, Humanities, US Foreign Policy, US Political Scene, US Democracy, US History and Historiography, US Media, Popular Culture and various other Cultural Studies and Political Science issues.