The Fourth Estate

“Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; …”
Amendment 1, U.S. Constitution

America is blessed with three Branches of Government–the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Yet there is another branch. It is The Fourth Estate, known as The Free Press. It was heartening to see the hundreds of names published in “The Herald” these past four weeks. They are the ultimate message of support for our need to keep the presses rolling.

I grew up with “Superman” flickering from our tiny black and white television screen. Jimmy Olsen the photographer and Lois Lane the reporter were the characters I gravitated to more than ‘The Man of Steel’. It was in the late 1950s when my Doylestown Borough School’s 6th grade field trip was a two block walk west on Court Street to the Doylestown Intelligencer.

On the building’s first floor we toured the room where reporters, hunched over typewriters at their desks, pounded out the news of the day. We were then escorted to the basement where the deafened clicks and clacks of linotype machines and the printing press bounced off the walls. Each of us was allowed to type our names on the linotype machine then afterwards, a narrow metal strip impressed with the letters that formed our name became our souvenir.

Those noises grabbed my heart. I was hooked, so much that to this day my favorite films are about reporters, investigations, commentaries and photojournalists.

Yep–“Truth, Justice and the American way.”

It pains me to hear the “leader” of our Nation hurl contempt at the Fourth Estate. Ignorance has become the cruel disease with which he has infected the unconscious brains of his followers.

My passion for journalism will always be sustained any time I’ve watched a film portraying storylines about the Free Press. During these weeks while you’re hunkered down, I invite you to take a Field Trip to some of my favorite Fourth Estate films:

Citizen Kane: A dying tycoon sighs: “Rosebud”. This film always on the ‘Top 100 Best Films’.
All The President’s Men: A 1976 film based on the 1974 book by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.
Salvador: A 1986 film about the war in Salvador, photojournalism risks truth in the face of death.
The Insider: The film is based on the 1996 true events when 60 Minutes brought forth an investigation of big tobacco.
Veronica Guerin: Released in 2003, this true story is based on an Irish reporter who investigated organized crime.
Network: The 1976 Winner of four Academy Awards, the satirical film has garnered additional recognitions since then, including the rank of 64 on the “100 Greatest U.S. American Films” as chosen by the American Film Institute.

Spotlight (2015); The Post (2017); The Year of Living Dangerously (1982); The Killing Fields (1984)

STAY SAFE and . . .



4 thoughts on “The Fourth Estate

  1. Another wonderful post, Doreen. You are so right…Keep the presses rolling. Support our papers and professional journalists.


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