Have you ever heard of the news media being referred to as the fourth estate? It's supposed to be a term of respect, acknowledging the importance of open and unfettered reporting of the news in maintaining the integrity of our democracy.
We have the three branches of government, legislative, administrative and judicial, that are supposed to serve as a balance of powers. The news media has come to be seen as an additional element holding all the others accountable, hence the moniker the fourth estate.
But the recent reporting of some arrests for alleged theft and property crimes in Moore County prompts a question of whether the fourth estate hasn't somehow been vacated. The issue is that the story seems to dismiss any notion that those arrested are presumed innocent until proven guilty.