That’s how Daniel Glover describes blogs over on the National Journal site. Here’s the nut paragraph:
I call it Estate 4.5 — a nod both to the profession whose excesses galvanized many bloggers and to the medium they use. Bloggers are like inspectors general, the independent watchdogs of government. Just as IGs are not part of the agencies they oversee, bloggers are neither part of government nor journalism, but they keep a wary and watchful eye on both. And in so doing they provide a valuable check against the arrogance, inadequacies and abuses of all four estates.
First prize goes to the first FB’er who can name those four estates.