The Fourth Estate revived

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A CHILL rustled through the media in Washington a week ago as headlines blared the suspicion that the new White House mandarins were “icing out” CNN – they would not answer CNN's questions at press briefings and they weren’t sending people to appear on CNN.

This is exactly what Nic Dawes warned US media about in the Columbia Journalism Review less than a fortnight after the November election (Dawes is an ex Mail & Guardian editor, now working in India). Get used to it, he said: this administration is not going to give you the access and privileges you’ve been accustomed to.

And that may be a blessing in disguise: “Losing this kind of access isn’t all bad. It reminds you that your job is to hold power to account, rather than to join its club. Outsider status can be bracing.”

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