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Places and forms of power: The power of the press

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Par   •  22 Avril 2019  •  Cours  •  776 Mots (4 Pages)  •  303 Vues

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laces and forms of power : The power of the press

Intrdocution :

I am going to talk about the notion of places and forms of power. First of all I would like to give a definition of this notion : the power is the ability to control people, it’s a force exerted or capable of being exerted. It can be exerted by justice, government or media… « Places » could be important buildings or institutions which represent a certain form of power or a symbol of power.

As we have seen, the press play an important part in today’s society ; after the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, the press is even called the fourth power, as it plays a part in striking balance between the various forms of power at work in democracy by informing people and disclosing thruths.

On the other hands, we can ask ourselves the question : « Is the press as powerfull as we can think ? »

I’ll go through differents parts. First we will see a high-powered press, through the Watergate scandale in the US. And then we will be interested in the case, when the press is not free.

Document 1:

I’ll deal with the Watergate scandal which happened in the United States of America in the 1970s. On June the 17th 1972 a break-in at the democratic National Comitee headquarters was reported in the USA. The Washington post was the newspapper which covered this event and especially two journalists whose names were Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who worked and investigated on this scandal. The president Nixon was directly accused of covering this scandal initiating this story the break-in in order to win the political campaign. The investigation was launched by the US supreme Court which stands for the judiciairy power. The investigation led by these two journalists and launched by the supreme Court revealed backing in the headquarters in order to spy on the democratic Party but also multiple abuse of power.

This story and the revelation of the story was made possible by these two journalists which directly led little by little to an impeachment process against The president Nixon. That was the first of the kind in the USA and it ended up in the final resignation of President Nixon on August the 9th 1974. Since the press has been considered as the fourth power and somehow the press also has some well it follows the process of cheks and balances which is well known in the USA. Cheks and balances in the United States is done between the three powers that I mentioned earlier on and every power cheks and balances the other powers. So that the democracy can run and still the press as the fourth power also helped this process of cheks and balances in order to safeguard democracy. After the scandal, Americans did not trust politicians anymore. More and more law schools appeared in the USA as a way to regulate legislation. Of course it showed the influence of journalists and the press in order to safeguard democracy and the freedom of the press helped this process and this leads me to my second part, when the press is not free.

Document 2:

For my second part, I’ll deal with an extract of Beverly Naidoo, which was

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