This post by Glenn Greenwald is one of the most powerful statements I have seen on what journalism is, and the reasons why it must be held accountable in ways that we should hold politicians accountable.
"Establishment journalists have a very significant impact on the world. They enthusiastically believe that to be true when it comes time to building their egos and establishing their own importance, but they instantly and emphatically deny it when it comes time to holding them accountable for what they do (don't you have anything better to do than criticize the media?). Their influence, thankfully, has eroded and continues to erode by the minute, but it's still substantial. That's why entire industries exist, and vast resources are expended by the powerful and wealthy, to manage, manipulate and control what they say.
What they do and how they think matters. They're the filters through which the citizenry hears about and understands the actions of the government. They can illuminate or deceive, disrupt or enable wrongdoing by the powerful, refute or amplify propaganda, expand or narrow the scope of accepted ideas. They play a major role in whether we start wars, torture people, live under lawless leaders, maintain massive wealth disparities, allow a tiny group of corporations to own and control government. They constantly go on TV. Their claims are aired to millions. They're given access to the most powerful people. They're the public face and voice of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world. They're paid a lot of money.
It's every bit as legitimate -- and as vital -- to hold them accountable as it is political officials themselves."