fourth estate

noun (often initial capital letters)
the journalistic profession or its members; the press.
a group other than the usual powers, as the three estates of France, that wields influence in the politics of a country.

1830–40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fourth estate
(sometimes capitals) See estate journalists or their profession; the press

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

fourth estate
"the press," 1837, first recorded in writings of Carlyle, though he said it was not original to him (perhaps in use from c.1823). For the other three, see estate. Earlier the term had been applied in various senses that did not stick, including "the mob" (1752).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Journalism ethics reside in publications and more broadly within the idea of the fourth estate.
Neither is a model anyone with a desire to preserve the fourth estate should strive to emulate.
Most folks tend to side with the fourth estate and do not take into account their slapdash work.
At the center of the social construction and interpretation of education sits the fourth estate.
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