Why a film about the media?
Produced in the UK on a zero-budget, directed by Lee Salter and edited by Elizabeth Mizon. The film makers spent two years contacting and interviewing journalists, organisers and critics of the corrupt industrial practices highlighted by, but not limited to, the Leveson Inquiry in 2011. While the phone hacking scandal illuminated the depth and breadth of the cavalier flouting of legality and integrity in British journalism, there are larger implications and connections to ideology, entertainment, and political economy at work in this crisis. The Fourth Estate is the result of an examination of these connections at work.
In the wake of the Leveson report the media’s focus has quickly diverted from a brief period of self-examination to business as usual. This opportunity for serious consideration of the true, entrenched causes and effects of the UK’s inadequate media must not go unexplored, and the recent press scandals must not be framed in terms of the “bad apple” soundbites we’re so often fed.
Examining the people and practices of the media industries, The Fourth Estate illuminates not only specific incidences of corruption by press groups, but how the wider business as a whole, including the film and entertainment industries, has a huge amount to answer for in the state of the politics and culture of the west. There’s no business like show business…