The Fourth Estate

“Yes, I’ll admit it, your photograph paints a lucid picture of the shit storm we find ourselves in,” the editor said. “Unfortunately we can’t use it, as it shows a violent confrontation between the police and the people that makes it look like we live in a police state.”

“But that’s the point. Over the past four years our country has been transformed from a beacon of democracy into an fascist autocracy,” the photographer said. “If your newspaper’s mission is to show the truth to your readers, you have to publish this image. It’s your duty as part of the fourth estate.

“In normal times, I would agree with everything you’re saying, but these are not normal times,” the editor said. “These are extraordinarily abnormal times, and the fourth estate is dead. We can’t publish this photo if we don’t want the government to shut us down. We have no choice but to pacify the demands of those in power.”

“Then I have no option,” the photographer said, “but to post this photo myself on Twitter and Instagram. It will probably get more views than it would if you published it in your newspaper. This is the problem in our country. People like you cower and do that madman’s bidding instead of revealing to the world what is really going on.”

Written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (photograph), Ragtag Daily Prompt (lucid), Word of the Day Challenge (storm), Your Daily Word Prompt (choice), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pacify). Also for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Photo credit: Corey Agopian at Unsplash.

17 thoughts on “The Fourth Estate

  1. newepicauthor November 2, 2020 / 5:46 pm

    I feel stupid, as I have never heard of the fourth estate,


    • Fandango November 2, 2020 / 7:48 pm

      You’re probably not alone. It’s the news media, historically newspapers.


  2. Marilyn Armstrong November 2, 2020 / 8:37 pm

    It depends on who owns the paper. If it’s a Murdoch or Sinclair production, forget the truth. You won’t find it. Other papers are still trying to do the best they can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango November 2, 2020 / 10:08 pm

      I read that the Boston Herald endorsed Trump. How?


  3. Iain Kelly November 3, 2020 / 12:54 am

    A vicious circle of the media not doing their job/not being allowed to do their job, which leads to people going to the unregulated and unchecked world of social media for information. A sorry state of affairs. Really hope it’s not too late for a new start this week…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Olga Brajnović November 3, 2020 / 7:48 am

    Let’s hope for the best! I’m a journalist. I don’t like many things I have seen in the media, but I think there are still brave journalists in the US doing a good job. I have been following the news and have seen journalists confronting Trump in press conferences like nobody over here would dare to do with our prime minister. I hope you have a good outcome of this election and that this crazy and dangerous time finishes to start healing wounds and build bonds anew.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carol anne November 3, 2020 / 6:48 pm

    Yes its so true! Newspapers are afraid of what publishing the facts means for them nowadays!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. leigha66 November 9, 2020 / 8:57 pm

    I learned something new… I had never heard of the fourth estate before.

    Liked by 1 person

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