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Does Democracy Need the News?

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We, as a country, we are incredibly good at exporting our ideology. We teach other countries to do what we do. And the fact that matters is that the models for calling up journalists are playing out in countries around the (1) ___, but have not played out to such an extend in Australia. But I want to emphasize – they will. If you don’t believe that you are living in a fantasy world, because someday a (2) ___ is going to show up and say: “You know, we could do this”. That’s what happens with the journalists. If they have, and I know that in some cases they have, already have, but I want to emphasize why I think it matters so much. And that is if we’re just talking about (3) ____ losing their jobs, right? It’s sad! I’m a journalist, my friends are journalists. I don’t want us to lose jobs. But that’s not really what we’re talking about here, you know. That’s sad, journalists losing jobs. Media changing, that’s tough, that’s difficult, you know, that’s happening.

Those are business page stories. The (4) ____ story, the real news for society, is what this does to (5) ___. And this is not an American phenomenon, it’s not, you know, the developed world phenomenon. Journalism is intricately linked to democracy in every place in the world. There is nowhere, where journalism is not the (6) ___ of democracy. Journalism may be practiced in many different ways: online; in print, (7) ___, it may be still an oral tradition. Journalism was rooted in the oral tradition. But the bottom line is, when someone gets information that power doesn’t want and communicates to the powerless, they are committing the act of journalism. And when we dramatically decrease the number of people who do that act in a country, we dramatically decrease the ability of citizens to get the information they need.

Thomas Jefferson, our third (8) ____, author of our Bill of Rights, the author of our Declaration of (9)____ said it best. It’s a wonderful quote that’s above the door of every newspaper in America, it says: “Given the choice between having government without newspapers or newspapers without (10)____, I would always choose the latter”. I will always choose the newspapers because you can’t have a democracy, you can’t have a free (11)___without the newspaper. Now you think from that quote that Jefferson loved newspapers. He hated them, he despised them. He said after he left the White House that if he never read another newspaper for the rest of his life he would be a happy man.

So why would he say we have to have them? What is it? Cause if you read the rest of the letter saying “given a choice between government and newspapers” he issued his friend named Edward Carrington, he says: “because that the only thing that will separate us from the (12)____ of old Europe is a free press, is journalism!” Because in the monarchies of old Europe (13)___and viscounts, and Kaisers, and Czars could control all information. And in that control of the information they assured that “the wolves would always devour the sheep”. And Jefferson being very literal said: “Let me explain that to you, Edward Carrington, what I mean when I say that the wolves will devour the sheep. I’m not talking about animals! I’m saying “the (14)____will control the poor”. There will be a class divide, Jefferson explained, in every country in the world. And that divide will be dramatically reinforced to an extend that there would be no real (15)____ without journalism.

1. (a) worldly (b) world (c) universe (d) countries
2. (a) manager (b) managing (c) manage (d) management
3. (a) journal (b) journalists (c) journalism (d) journalist
4. (a) front page (b) glossy page (c) first page (d) editor’s page
5. (a) democrat (b) democratic party (c) democratic (d) democracy
6. (a) basing (b) underpinning (c) founding (d) support
7. (a) broadcast (b) broadcasting (c) broad (d) news
8. (a) philosopher (b) politics (c) President (d) Prime Minister
9. (a) sovereignty (b) freedom (c) independent (d) Independence
10. (a) government (b) governing (c) governed (d) govern
11. (a) social (b) society (c) national (d) international
12. (a) monarchies (b) monarch (c) dictator (d) lords
13. (a) country (b) state (c) kingdom (d) kings
14. (a) noble (b) power (c) rich (d) influence
15. (a) countries (b) sovereign (c) independent (d) democracy

1 Give Ukrainian equivalents for the following words and expressions.

Intricately, underpinning, latter, viscount, literal, to emphasize, phenomenon.


2 Comprehension questions.

1. Who is John Nichols?

2. In what ways can journalism be practised?

3. Who Thomas Jefferson was?

4. What is the real meaning of a quote “The wolves would always devour the sheep”?

5. Who controlled the information in old Europe?


3 Say if the following statements are true according to the text.

1. Journalism may be practised in many different ways: online, broadcast, in print, orally.

2. Thomas Jefferson is the second president of the USA.

3. Jefferson preferred newspapers to the government.

4. Jefferson loved newspapers.

5. John Nichols is a journalist.

6. In a monarchy kings control all the information.

7. “The wolves will devour the sheep” means “The rich will control the poor”.

8. When Jefferson said:” The wolves will devour the sheep” he was talking about animals.

9. The only thing that separates us from the monarchy is journalism, free press.

10. If Jefferson read another newspaper for the rest of his life he would be a happy man.


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