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Truth and travesty, lies and loyalty, fact, and fiction- until the twentieth century, these agencies were mostly controlled by the people who were in power. The power of ideology and the strength of a dictator rested on the peasantry’s inability to separate lies from the truth.

Starting in the 1900s, a growing class of people demanded their leaders be accountable and open to scrutiny. The change from nobility-led to serf-led governments formed the fourth- estate journalism.

Now, however, this pillar of democracy is increasingly at risk. Too much scrutiny leads to instability. When autocratic regimes form, the first moves of the incumbent cabinet are to gag the press and nationalize the papers. Yet it is this very menace that every journalist aims to destroy.

You have been granted freedom of opinion seldom had by the common populace. Will you use it to propagate your existing beliefs, or will you steadfastly defend the democratic ideal? How will you expose corruption, bring down tyranny and protect free speech?

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