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The normalization of surveillance and the invisibility of digital citizenship: media debates after the Snowden revelations

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID:, Bennett, Lucy ORCID: and Taylor, Gregory 2017. The normalization of surveillance and the invisibility of digital citizenship: media debates after the Snowden revelations. International Journal of Communication 11 , pp. 740-762.

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Based on an analysis of newspaper and blog coverage of the Snowden revelations and their aftermath, our study demonstrates that newspapers normalize surveillance by highlighting concerns over national security and focusing on surveillance of elites, and minimize the attention given to the mass surveillance of citizens. By contrast, blogs allow more critical discussions relevant to digital citizenship, enabling debates on civil rights and privacy. This article argues that if conventional media limit debates relevant to digital citizenship, blogs may provide a space that contests and makes visible the key problems scantly evident in newspapers. We suggest research on digital citizenship in mediated debates should focus on how political subjects are silenced, as well as the emerging spaces where this silence can be broken.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: blogs, bulk data, digital citizenship, digital rights, journalism, mass surveillance, normalization, Snowden, surveillance
Publisher: University of Southern California, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
ISSN: 1932-8036
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 January 2017
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2016
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2022 07:28

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