The focus is the educational function of the press and the problem that forms a context for this focus is the environment, exemplified by the issues raised at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The public is often presented with contrasting images of education and the press. For example, that education needs to be carefully controlled with inspections, national league tables of performance and a national curriculum while the press needs to be free, unfettered by government constraint and only answerable to its readers and shareholders in the context of free markets. There are powerful historical reasons for these contrasts but much modern research demonstrates that while the press necessarily 'serves' the public it also wields substantial 'power without responsibility'.
"The Press as Public Educator" aims to challenge and to cause a radical review of stale ideas and obsolete concepts. It concludes by suggesting that the analysis has implications for reform of the media and a new era of public accountability for the press.