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date: 13 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

The notion of watchdog journalism as a mechanism for strengthening accountability in democratic governance has long been advocated by liberal theorists. Despite the popularity of this notion, however, several questions surround these idealized claims, not least what is the evidence that reporters around the world subscribe to this normative vision of their role? Do the news media, through their coverage of public affairs, actually serve as watchdogs of the public interest in practice? If so, do the news media serve as effective mechanisms of accountability, triggering public outrage and effective actions by policy-makers, thereby fulfilling these lofty democratic principles? This chapter reexamines these issues and the conclusion considers the implications for public policy.

Keywords: Watchdog journalism, Accountability, News media, Democratic governance, Public affairs

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