Media Discourse of the Right to Privacy under Surveillance: An analysis of the media coverage from post-9/11 to post-Snowden US

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Sammanfattning: The right to privacy in the age of surveillance is a long-standing controversial issue. This controversy first heightened in 2001, after 9/11 terrorist attacks; and again in 2013, after Edward Snowden‘s mass surveillance disclosure. In both the cases, the ensuing media discussion was focused on either surveillance is essential for security or it subverts the right to privacy. As media is a contributing factor of human rights promotion and protection, this dissertation examines the construction and representation of the right to privacy and surveillance in the post-9/11 and post-Snowden US media. Methodologically, this research draws on Critical Discourse Analysis, applying the concept of discourse, utilising insights from Norman Fairclough‘s intertextual analysis, and the toolkit outlined by David Machin and Andrea Mayr. The primary data used for analysis comes from the news coverage of three leading daily newspapers in the US. The study concludes that post-9/11 US media constructed the right to privacy as expandable human rights while fighting terrorism, whereas surveillance is a key tool for protecting Americans. However, Snowden‘s revelation contributed to altering the discourse, and surveillance was constructed as a threat to privacy rights. Finally, this study suggests that the US media are reluctant to refer to international human rights legal instruments although the US is a state party of several international conventions.

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