Discussion paper

Surveillance discourse in UK broadcasting since the Snowden revelations

Surveillance Mass media National security United Kingdom

The surveillance discourse in British broadcast news since the Snowden revelations covers justifications and challenges. Justification focuses on authorisation and rationalisation strategies stating terror threats explicitly, which are often expressed by governmental actors. Delegitimation strategies predominantly use moralising and mythopoetic arguments of civil liberties and are expressed by Snowden himself, politicians, rarely by journalists, non-governmental organisations, and very rarely by citizens. Juliane A. Lischka asks what exactly is at stake when mass surveillance increases remains obscure in the broadcast discourse. The surveillance discourse should be richer especially in order to give the audience a chance to understand the less concrete contra-surveillance arguments better. 

Some of the key questions raised by Lischka include:

  • In light of the governmental surveillance measures revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, how are surveillance discourses articulated in the United Kingdom's broadcast news debate?
  • How is mass surveillance (de)legitimised in the broadcast news debate?
  • What actors and sources articulate opinions on mass surveillance and to what extend are citizens’ voices included in the broadcast news debate?
  • How do the David Miranda detention, the snooping on embassies and world leaders, the Lee Rigby report, and the Charlie Hebdo aftermath inform the news surveillance debate?
Publication Details
Access Rights Type: