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The 4 pillars of democracy are:

The following are most widely accepted four pillars of Democracy Executive (e.g Government) Judiciary (e.g Supreme Court) Press or Journalism (e.g Newspapers, Internet Media) Legislature (e.g Parliament)

When the United States was founded, it was based on three pillars: executive power, an elected legislature, and an independent judiciary. The 21st century has brought with it a fourth pillar of state. The fourth pillar is a free media. As the information age has powered ahead, the fourth pillar has become more and more important. These powers are maintained by a system of checks and balances so that no one pillar may overtake the others entirely. Exactly what the four pillars are is up for interpretation based on what an individual believes to have the most value in a democratic society. Some people would add public education and transparency as pillars as well.

Executive Power o In a constitutional democracy like the United States or Great Britain, the executive branch of government is represented by a presidential or parliamentary system of government. In the parliamentary system, the national leader is drawn from the parliament and is called the prime minister. The parliament is formed by the majority party and those willing to work with it. The prime minister and the parliament function more closely together than the president and legislature in the presidential system. In the presidential system, the president is elected in a separate election from the legislature. The president and the legislature may have different parties drawing on their own political power bases separate from one another. Elected Legislature o The legislature or parliament serves to introduce debate and pass laws. Legislators are involved in national budgets, approval of executive appointees to Federal positions, and they check the actions of government agencies through investigation. These legislators are charged with representing the area that they are from as well as the greater good of the whole nation. Independent Judiciary o An independent judiciary is necessary for the court system to function. The ability to function without fear of reproach is key to unbiased decisions based solely on the law in question. This independence ensures equal protection under the law for all citizens. Judges may only be removed from the bench through impeachment. The tenure associated with their positions allows them to operate without fear of losing their jobs based on making an unpopular decision. Free Media o A free media is imperative for a democratic state to function. The media serves as a watchdog for its people providing information they may not otherwise have access to or seek out themselves. A free media allows individual citizens to question those in power and use that information to make decisions about their future.

Duties & Responsibilities of Journalists A journalist writes professionally about world issues, local events, people and trends. There is a great amount of responsibility a journalist faces when presenting material to the public. Principles: Seeking Truth - Telling the truthbeing accurateis essential. Seek truth and report it is the first core principle of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. Journalists should not fabricate the news, nor should they plagiarizethat is, copy without attributionanother persons work. The British Editors Code of Practice also lists accuracy as its first principle and states, The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. The one universal ethical principle may be simply this: A journalist never knowingly publishes a falsehood. Sources - Journalists must be cautious and determine that a source is credible, ascertaining a sources point of view or agenda. Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information. Avoid Surreptitious and Undercover Reporting Techniques whenever possible - Journalists should avoid deceptive reporting techniques, like using hidden cameras, tape recorders, and microphones, or assuming a false identity. In some jurisdictions, they are illegal. But equally important, they can undermine credibility. Nevertheless, there are times when a story can be obtained only through subterfuge. These techniques should be reserved for the rare occasion when conventional methods will not work and, only then, when a compelling public interest demands it.

Responsibilities of a Journalist Legal Responsibility - Journalists should know their rights and the rights of each individual, and they should be sure they are compliant with legal issues. This will ensure there is no intrusion on matters of confidentiality and privacy. Libelous and slanderous remarks can result in legal action against journalists. A journalist must not intervene or inflict to someones privacy or confidential matter until it is required to be brought to the notice of public. Social Responsibility - Press reflects the social images or pictures of our society and relates current events to the rest of society. It is the duty of a journalist to make sure the information is presented in a fair, balanced and truthful manner. It is a journalist's duty not to sensationalize any event for own benefit. Every report should be fair, balance, truthful, inspiring and meeting the needs of common consumers of the news. Professional Responsibility - A journalist has a professional responsibility to present an accurate portrayal of events as they occur. This usually is accomplished through excellent and thorough research. A professional journalist will present only the facts, leaving out her own opinions. Ethical Responsibility - Journalists are bound to a code of ethics. An ethical journalist will provide the audience with meaningful information, but she also will know when information is too sensitive to be reported. For example, when reporting a crime or a death, journalists should be aware of family members who are involved or who have not yet been notified of the tragedy. Reporting the News - Journalists are responsible for being active in their community. They learn to uncover facts and know what is relevant and useful before it is printed. Journalists sift through insignificant stories and report on what the public is interested in.

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