Public reporting is a requirement for public affairs practitioners in public administration because of the democratic context in which government operates. By reporting to the public-at-large on agency activities, government agencies contributed to an informed citizenry, the essential foundation of a democracy. For public affairs in business administration and non-profit administration, public reporting is desirable rather than mandatory. Public reporting was traditionally accomplished indirectly, through news media coverage of government. However, recent research suggests a diminution of interest by the media in fulfilling its role as an instrument of democracy. This means that the public reporting obligation of public affairs professionals in public administration needs to shift to direct reporting, through such products as annual reports, newsletters, TV programmes, Internet websites etc. Copyright © 2002 Henry Stewart Publications.