If transparency and accountability are society"s two great protections against corruption in public life, the media has a crucial role to play. They are subject to the same laws and penalties as every other citizen. But, unlike workers in other fields, their right to practice their craft is recognized in law and in the constitution. Journalists enjoy this special status because a free press is considered to be one of the foundations of a democratic society. The press serves several essential functions: it is society"s messenger. It attends events and witnesses activities at home and abroad, and reports its observations to the public at large. In a perfect society, the press or, if you prefer, the media fills each of these functions faithfully. Of course, there is no perfect society and no perfect press, just as there are no perfect governments or perfect politicians.