The previous posts did a wonderful job. I would like to add that the framers of the Constitution did envision the media as akin to a "fourth branch" of government that allowed a system of checks and balances to prevent institutional abuses. This idea can be best seen in the case of John Peter Zenger, an editor/ journalist who criticized through his newspaper the abuses of power of Governor Crosby of New York. The governor, enraged at the publication of his misdeeds, apprehended and imprisoned Zenger, charging him with libel and slander. Crosby's lawyer argued that the charges are groundless if they are true. Once the evidence displayed this, the court acquitted Zenger, concluding that the media and the role of journalists is an essential one in a democratic setting where individuals must be responsible for their own government. In this setting, the media's role in contributing to the sensibilities of a democracy is an essential one.