Defamation ruling a victory for freedom of the press

Defamation ruling a victory for freedom of the press

Even when journalists are sure of their facts, they take a risk once they tangle with power, a risk worth taking because it’s important for journalism and democracy

The public interest is the touchstone for all of us who take pen to paper, finger to key or microphone/camera to record and it remains the cornerstone for responsible journalism right round the world. It is what helped to place journalism as the ‘fourth estate’ of society – the term originally coined by Edmund Burke in 1787 when journalists were first admitted to report on activities at the House of Commons. At that time, the other three estates were defined as: the Lords Spiritual, the Lords Temporal and the Commons. Now, journalists know the first three estates as government, parliament and the judiciary.

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