As the world celebrates #WorldPressFreedomDay today, I am ‘logospired’ to expand our vocabulary with the term ‘fourth estate’.
In Europe, during the medieval times, the people who participated in the political life of a country were generally divided into three classes or estate -the clergy, the nobility, and the commoners. Some other group,like the public press, that received no official recognition but often exerted great influence on public affairs, was called the fourth estate.
Fourth estate refers to newspapers, magazines, television, radio stations, ‘blogs’ and the people who work for them. People who are thought to have a lot of political or social influence.
Africa cannot do without the fourth estate, people who provide an external check on those in power and hold feet to the fire when necessary. People who speak for the voiceless and ensure that the processes are not manipulated for the political interests of any actor. These people enlighten, educate and encourage.
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) West Africa, Cohort 6, had many members of the fourth estate.
As we celebrate our freedom of speech today and everyday, May the mouths of those who speak truth never be sealed.
And may our ink for scribbling down knowledge never run dry