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Justifying surveillance: the new discursive settlement in UK opinionated journalism

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID: and Jones, Katy 2016. Justifying surveillance: the new discursive settlement in UK opinionated journalism. Kunelius, Risto, Heikkila, Heikki, Russell, Adrienne and Yagodin, Dmitry, eds. Journalism and the NSA Revelations: Privacy, Security and the Press, London and New York: Peter Lang,

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This chapter examines the distinctive discourses on the NSA revelations in the opinionated journalism of British newspapers, based on a qualitative analysis of a series of case studies following the initial Snowden leaks. The chapter demonstrates that despite the key role of the Guardian in facilitating the revelations, British newspaper discourses overwhelmingly contributed to legitimating practices of mass surveillance. These justifications for surveillance were framed with reference to concerns about national security, but frequently accompanied and softened by pleas for increased transparency regarding the nature and extent of surveillance. However, as the chapter also shows, discussions of the revelations were informed by the politically polarised nature of the British newspaper landscape, with significant differences between the opinions voiced in right-leaning and left-leaning newspapers which also occasioned a broader discussion of the boundaries of journalism, through criticism and defence of the Guardian’s role in the revelations.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: In Press
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Peter Lang
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2022 09:19

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