Digital Citizenship and Surveillance| The Snowden Revelations and the Networked Fourth Estate

Adrienne Russell, Silvio Waisbord


News coverage and analysis of the Edward Snowden revelations provide rich material with which to investigate the dynamics of the networked fourth estate. To understand the links between legacy news and new information actors, this article employs the notion of news flashpoints as a heuristic for making sense of instances when peaks in coverage and interest sync up across various types of news media and platforms and across professional–amateur–special interest borders. By identifying flashpoints, as well as the news events, actors, and themes that anchored the development of the story, the article demonstrates how stories related to the leaks were sustained and broadened in this hybrid environment and considers the implications for the public.


Snowden, fourth estate, NSA, flashpoints, hybrid media, privacy, networked journalism

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