Fourth Estate Articles List



114 Articles Found


What’s it like to be a journalist in Rwanda? This is what they told us

We found that while journalists aimed to fulfil traditional roles, like informing and educating the public, they valued their unique role: to promote unity and reconciliation. Having lived through Rwanda’s genocide era, they wanted to prevent a similar tragedy from reoccurring.


Why the raids on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy

The crackdown of the past few days reveals that at least two of the core fears expressed by lawyers and the media industry were well-founded: first, the demise of source confidentiality and, secondly, a chilling effect on public interest journalism.


Enough ‘gotcha’ campaign coverage. Here are five ways the media can better cover elections

There seems to be little learning among the news media about how they might cover elections better. Here are five weaknesses in the approach of most mainstream media.


Getting What You Pay For: Making Public Broadcasting Work

The public interest journalism carried out by public broadcasters has long been an important part of a strong and independent media, and with 40 years' experience in the area, The Fourth Estate's first Journalism Advocate, Alan Sunderland is clear on what he sees as the challenges ahead.


Journalist killings, arrests and assaults climb worldwide as authoritarianism spreads

The 2019 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders shows how hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence and created “an intense climate of fear” worldwide. According to the Paris-based nonprofit, 12 reporters have been killed so far this year and 172 are in jail. In the last decade, according to the group, 702 journalists have been killed, including 63 last year.


Assange’s new indictment: Espionage and the First Amendment

Julian Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with a slew of Espionage Act violations that could keep him in prison for the rest of his life.


Secrecy versus sunshine: Efforts to hide government records never stop

Public records laws exist to allow us to see into the decision-making of our government. When bureaucrats make efforts to obscure our view into their actions, it serves only to undermine government officials’ accountability. It also diminishes the public’s understanding of, and faith in, democracy.


How to make health news interesting — without overselling the claims

For our latest research, we wanted to find a way to help writers accurately communicate research evidence, without diminishing reader interest in the claims. To do this, we teamed up with nine UK press offices, from journals, universities and funders, to run a randomised trial with health-related press releases.


Why letting the IRS decide the future of news is a bad idea

After nearly 150 years in business – as a business – The Salt Lake Tribune wants to become a nonprofit. But first its owner must get approval from the Internal Revenue Service.


Political cartoonists are out of touch – it's time to make way for memes

As a scholar who studies social media and memetics, I wonder if political cartoons are the best way to connect with today’s diverse readership. Many crave searing, cutting political commentary – and they’re finding it in internet memes. What if internet memes were elevated – not only as a serious art form but also as an important form of editorializing that’s worthy of appearing alongside the traditional cartoon