The fourth estate is the public press, referred to as a collective and encompassing photographers, journalists, television broadcasters, and radio announcers, among others. Many people generally agree that the fourth estate has immense political and social power, thanks to the fact that the press can be used to shape societies while imparting news of note and commentary of interest. Because the fourth estate is recognized as such an important body, many nations have laws which protect the rights of the press, ensuring that citizens have access to reporting on matters of interest and of note.
The origins of the term the fourth estate are best explained within the context of the medieval estates of the realm. In medieval society, three estates were formally recognized: the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. Each estate had a very distinct social role and a certain level of power, and the idea of the estates of the realm became so entrenched in European society that it still live