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Title: The state journalism is in: Edward Snowden and the British press
Authors: Petley, J
Keywords: Snowden;Guardian;Rusbridger;National security;GCHQ
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Abramis
Citation: Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, 11(1/2): 9-18, (2014)
Abstract: This article examines the reactions on the part of the government and much of the British national press to Edward Snowden’s revelations in the Guardian about massive surveillance by Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the National Security Agency (NSA). It argues that the revelations were politically embarrassing as opposed to damaging to national security, and that although the government could be expected to adopt a hostile attitude to the Guardian, it might appear strange that papers such as the Sun, Mail and Telegraph did likewise, effectively backing calls for the paper to be prosecuted. However, such a stance is surprising only if one regards such papers as conforming to a ‘Fourth Estate’ model of journalism, and the article argues that they, along with most of the rest of the British national press, are actually a key part of the Establishment rather than a watchdog over it. It is therefore entirely unsurprising that when the government and the security services declare that a particular example of journalistic activity endangers ‘national security’ or damages the ‘national interest’, most newspapers accept this judgement without demur, and act accordingly.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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