This essay examines intellectual history of the concept "publicity", originally defined by Immanuel Kant as a transcendental formula of public justice and the principle of the public use of reason. Later it was largely subsumed under the concept "freedom of the press". The notion of the press as the fourth estate/power was a valid concept and legitimate form of the institutionalization of the principle of publicity in the period when newspapers emanated from a new (bourgeois) estate or class: they had a different source of legitimacy than the three classic powers, and have developed as a critical impulse against the old ruling estates. Yet, discrimination in the favor of the power/control function of the press, relating to the need of "distrustful surveillance" defended by Bentham, clearly abstracted freedom of the press from the Kantian quest for the public use of reason. In democratic societies where the people - rather then different estates - legitimize all the powers, the control dimension of publicity embodied in the corporate freedom of the press should be effectively supplemented by action toward equalizing private citizens in the public use of reason.