Through the Network (of Networks): The Fifth Estate

Professor William H. Dutton

Duration: 00:48:27

Recorded: 15 October 2007


The media are often seen as central to democratic processes: a 'fourth estate' independent of government and other powerful institutions. Now, the Internet and Web are creating a new space for networking people, information and other resources.

This network of networks has the potential to become an equally important 'fifth estate' which could support greater accountability in politics and the media. It could also have a much wider role in opening up to greater social accountability other institutional arenas, from everyday life to specialist fields like science.

In his Inaugural Lecture at the University of Oxford, Professor Dutton examines the emergence of such a 'fifth estate' and its social, political and other implications, including its impact on the quality and integrative capability of our information environment.

About the speakers

Related projects

  • The Fifth Estate

    October 2007 - August 2014

    The Fifth Estate is a research project designed to examine critically the Internet's role in enabling new forms of democratic accountability and voice, comparable to the press of an earlier era.

Related events

  • Through the Network (of Networks) - the Fifth Estate

    Monday 15 October 2007 17:00 - 18:00

    The Internet and web are creating a new space for networking people, information and other resources: this has the potential to become an important 'fifth estate' to support greater accountability in politics, the media and other institutional arenas.