New Article: Boundary-Drawing Power and the Renewal of Professional News Organizations: The Case of the Guardian and the Edward Snowden NSA Leak

Simon Collister and I have written a new article that examines the mediation of the Snowden leak. It will be out with the International Journal of Communication very soon. We’re presenting this at the APSA Political Communication Section Preconference in Washington, DC next week. Abstract and full PDF below.

Andrew Chadwick and Simon Collister “Boundary-Drawing Power and the Renewal of Professional News Organizations: The Case of the Guardian and the Edward Snowden NSA Leak” International Journal of Communication 8, 2014.

Abstract

We argue that the Edward Snowden NSA leak of 2013 was an important punctuating phase in the evolution of political journalism and political communication, as media systems continue to adapt to the incursion of digital media logics. We show how the leak’s mediation reveals professional news organizations’ evolving power in an increasingly congested, complex, and polycentric hybrid media system where the number of news actors has radically increased. We identify the practices through which the Guardian reconfigured and renewed its power and which enabled it to lay bare highly significant aspects of state power and surveillance. This involved exercising a form of strategic, if still contingent, control over the information and communication environments within which the Snowden story developed. This was based upon a range of practices encapsulated by a concept we introduce: boundary-drawing power.

Download the full paper here.

Interview in Mediascapes

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Augusto Valeriani. The result has now been published in Mediascapes and can be found here.

Six Essential Digital Tools for Scholars and Students

Something a bit different for this post…

These days we scholars and students spend a great deal of time working with software and web services of various kinds. These are important tools. I’m a strong believer that they affect not only how efficiently we work but also how we come to think about the researching, learning, and writing that are essential to our daily creativity.

I use a lot of different software, but to be included on this list a tool needs to be something I use several times every day. There will be no surprises for many of you here, but these are things that have become essential to my work over the last five years or so. Recently, I’ve become more circumspect about the whole idea of “the cloud,” but old habits die hard… 

And, here they are, in, you guessed it… list format.

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1. Evernote. Good for quick notes and for storing, tagging, and marking up PDFs. Syncs with the iOS version. I’ve been using this since 2009, though I tend to annotate PDFs in the Mac Preview app because the notes show up when I share the PDFs by email. Nevertheless, you can store the annotated PDFs in Evernote and easily see the notes and highlights in the desktop version.

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2. Dropkick. A much nimbler, minimalist alternative to the built-in task manager in iOS. Has a Mac desktop version that syncs. I’ve tried many different to-do list apps over the years but this one is by far the best. I’ve been using this for ages.

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3. Scrivener, for writing. Particularly good for long projects like, er… books, but also good for articles. The learning curve is steep but it is well worth it if you’re starting a big new project from scratch and you don’t need to worry too much about file compatibility when sharing documents with co-authors. I used this for my hybrid media system book.

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4. Endnote, for referencing. It’s ugly and horrible to use and it’s been around for years. But I cannot find a better alternative that is as robust and as widely used. Now there is an iPad version, too, which looks okay, but I don’t have an iPad so I can’t vouch for it.

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5. Mindnode, for mind maps and planning books and articles. Mac desktop. There is an iOS version that looks good but I don’t use it. Mindnode forms an important part of my teaching these days, though there are several other useful mind mapping apps. On May 1 I’ll be talking about live mind mapping in classes at a symposium featuring the 2013 Royal Holloway Teaching Excellence Award winners.

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6. Bittorrent Sync, for sync without the cloud. I’ve been using this since picking up an early beta version following my decision to delete my Dropbox account. It’s not quite a Dropbox replacement so do your research before trying it. But it’s rock solid for me, so far. Now also available in a mobile app version.

Oxford Studies in Digital Politics: New Title: Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age

The latest book in my series is now available: Jennifer Stromer-Galley’s Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age. This valuable and unique book is ideal for courses on U.S. politics, political parties, campaigns and elections, and political communication.

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From the Jacket:

As the plugged-in presidential campaign has arguably reached maturity, Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age challenges popular claims about the democratizing effect of Digital Communication Technologies (DCTs). Analyzing campaign strategies, structures, and tactics from the past five presidential election cycles, Stromer-Galley reveals how, for all their vaunted inclusivity and tantalizing promise of increased two-way communication between candidates and the individuals who support them, DCTs have done little to change the fundamental dynamics of campaigns. The expansion of new technologies has presented candidates with greater opportunities to micro-target potential voters, cheaper and easier ways to raise money, and faster and more innovative ways to respond to opponents. The need for communication control and management, however, has made campaigns slow and loathe to experiment with truly interactive internet communication technologies.

Citizen involvement in the campaign historically has been and, as this book shows, continues to be a means to an end: winning the election for the candidate. For all the proliferation of apps to download, polls to click, videos to watch, and messages to forward, the decidedly undemocratic view of controlled interactivity is how most campaigns continue to operate.

Contributing to the field a much-needed historical understanding of the shifting communication practices of presidential campaigns, Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age examines election cycles from 1996, when the World Wide Web was first used for presidential campaigning, through 2012, when practices were being tuned to perfection using data analytics for carefully targeting and mobilizing particular voter segments. As the book charts changes in internet communication technologies, it shows how, even as campaigns have moved responsively from a mass mediated to a networked paradigm, and from fundraising to organizing, the possibilities these shifts in interactivity seem to promise for citizen input and empowerment remain much farther than a click away.

Oxford Studies in Digital Politics.

Oxford Studies in Digital Politics: Two New Titles

A further two new titles in the OUP Studies in Digital Politics book series, for which I’m series editor, have recently been published: Steven Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop’s edited volume Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood and Jason Gainous and Kevin Wagner’s Tweeting to Power: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics.

Also, look out for Jennifer Stromer-Galley’s unique new textbook Presidential Campaigning in the Internet Age, which is out very soon.  

If you’re interested in writing a book for the series, contact me by email at firstname.lastname@rhul.ac.uk

Happy reading!

Second Report of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement

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Our second report contains a package of recommendations that, taken together, would limit the impact of the legislation on legitimate civil society campaigning ahead of elections.

Report of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement

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As you may have heard, the British government recently introduced a new bill to regulate lobbying and non-party campaigning during the year leading up to an election, without consulting any organizations and on a very rushed parliamentary timetable.

The bill is technical and complex but Part 2 of it has caused great concern among civil society organizations, campaigning groups, bloggers, and charities from across the entire political spectrum, so much so that in some quarters it has become known as the “gagging law.”

At the end of September an independent Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement was established and I was invited to participate in it as one of eight Commissioners.

The Commission is chaired by Lord Harries, a senior cross-bench peer. Its initial aim was to consult civil society organizations across the UK and prepare a report in time to shape the thinking of Peers as the bill passed through the House Lords’ committee stage in November.

During three weeks in October we held a series of consultations—at Westminster, in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England—and we’ve heard from a wide variety of organizations through their written submissions and online surveys.

You can read more about this in the Commission’s first report, which we presented to MPs, Peers, and campaign group and charity leaders in Parliament on October 29.

As a result of the report and the combined pressure of campaigning organizations and charities, on November 5 the government decided to put Part 2 of the lobbying bill on hold until December 16, to allow for a period of consultation involving a wide range of organizations and the evidence gathered by the Commission.

For more information, and to submit evidence to the Commission’s next consultation phase, please visit our website.

My new book The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power—now available

My new book The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power is now available.

Links: Amazon (US)Amazon UK.

There is also a Kindle version, with real page numbers! Here is the US Kindle version. And here is the UK Kindle version.

This is the culmination of a research project stretching back more than four years, though my thinking on hybridity in organizations goes back further—to early 2005. With this new book, however, I have tried to use hybridity as a bigger concept for explaining how the systemic interdependence among older and newer media logics now shapes many different aspects of political life. This has involved a move away from focusing solely on online politics and toward an attempt to integrate the study of all relevant media, newer and older. From a personal perspective, this has taken my own research in some new and intriguing (to me at least!) directions. I hope you find the book as interesting to read as I found it to write.

Clicking on the photo below will take you to the new blog I’ve established to accompany the book, where you can also read more about the book itself. I’ll regularly add material that is relevant the book’s arguments over the coming months.

Review Copies

Please complete this form.

Inspection Copies

Follow the links here: USA | UK

As ever, happy reading!

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Two New Titles in the OUP Studies in Digital Politics Book Series

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Two new titles in the OUP Studies in Digital Politics book series, for which I’m series editor, have recently been published: Sarah Oates’ Revolution Stalled: The Political Limits of the Internet in the Post-Soviet Sphere and Phil Howard and Muzammil Hussain’s Democracy’s Fourth Wave: Digital Media and the Arab Spring.


Here’s an up to date list of where things currently stand with the series:

Published

Philip N. Howard (2010) The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy:  Information Technology and Political Islam. (Winner, Best Book Award, 2011, American Political Science Association Information Technology and Politics Section).

David Tewskbury and Jason Rittenberg (2012) News on the Internet: Information and Citizenship in the 21st Century.

David Karpf (2012) The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy.

Daniel Kreiss (2012) Taking Our Country Back: Political Consultants and the Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama

Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, and William W. Franko (2012), Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity

Sarah Oates (2013) The Internet, Repression, and Revolution: Information and Control in the Post-Soviet Sphere

Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain (2013) Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring.

Forthcoming

Andrew Chadwick (2013, July) The Hybrid Media System: Politics and Power.

Jason Gainous and Kevin Wagner (2013, November/December) Tweeting to Power: The Social Media Revolution in American Politics.

Steven Livingston and Gregor Walter-Drop (eds) (2013) Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood.

Jennifer Stromer-Galley Presidential Campaigns in the Internet Age.

Rachel Gibson The Rise of Citizen Campaigning: How the Web is Reshaping Parties, Elections, and Participation in Global Perspective.

Jessica L. Beyer Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization.


If you’re writing, or are thinking of writing, a book that would be a good fit with the series, I’d be interested in hearing about it. Drop me a line.

As ever, happy reading!

Giving the 2013 Attallah Lecture at Carleton University, March 7, 2013

I will be giving the 2013 Attallah Lecture at Carleton University on March 7, 2013. The Lecture takes place annually in honour of Paul Attallah and is part of Carleton’s Communication Graduate Caucus Annual Conference, whose theme this year is [Re]visions: Protest and Resistance.

Many thanks to Carleton’s CGC and to the Faculty of the School of Journalism and Communication for inviting me. It is a real honour and I very much look forward to participating in the conference.

Attallah Lecture specifics:

Date: Thursday, March 7, 2013.
Time: 6:30 PM.
Location: National Arts Centre, Ottawa, 53 Elgin Street, at Confederation Square, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5W1, Canada.
Free and open to the public.

Map.

Update March 11, 2013: Some reactions…

Speaking at an event on the European Citizens’ Initiative in Westminster, November 29, 2012

A quick note to say that I’ll be speaking at an event about the European Citizens’ Initiative in central London this coming Thursday, November 29. 

Organized by the European Parliament Information Office, held at Europe House, Smith Square, Westminster, and entitled Can Digital Democracy Work? the meeting will consist of MEPs and representatives from the Officer of the Leader of the House of Commons, 38 Degrees, and transnational civil society movement, European Alternatives.

More details at the European Parliament Information Office site and links to a series of articles to accompany the event (including one by me), published by The Independent.

If you would like to attend the discussion, please RSVP to Agnieszka.PIELA@ext.ec.europa.eu

Links:
European Citizens’ Initiative.
Article for The Independent.
38 Degrees.
European Alternatives.
Timothy Kirkhope MEP.

Oxford Studies in Digital Politics Book Series: New Title Now Out: Digital Cities

A new title in the Oxford University Press book series I edit, Oxford Studies in Digital Politics, has just been published: Digital Cities: The Internet and the Geography of Opportunity, by Karen Mossberger, Caroline J. Tolbert, and William W. Franko.

Click here for more detail on the book.

Click here for more detail on the book series and forthcoming titles.

Amazon U.S. (in stock now).

Amazon U.K. (stock arriving late December).

Happy reading!

By the way, if you work in one of the following broad areas and are currently writing a book (not an edited volume), I would be interested in hearing from you:

Digital politics in China.
Digital politics and international relations.

New Article: “Recent Shifts in the Relationship Between the Internet and Democratic Engagement in Britain and the United States: Granularity, Informational Exuberance, and Political Learning”

I have a new article out in an excellent edited collection that has been put together by Eva Anduiza, Mike Jensen, and Laia Jorba, and published in Lance Bennett and Robert Entman’s book series with Cambridge University Press.

Mike Jensen has written a useful blog post describing the book here.

The volume has its origins in a superb workshop held in Barcelona.

The title of my chapter is: “Recent Shifts in the Relationship Between the Internet and Democratic Engagement in Britain and the United States: Granularity, Informational Exuberance, and Political Learning.” I hope you find it interesting.

Here are some Amazon links:

Amazon US link.

Amazon UK link.

There’s also a Kindle and a Nook edition.

New OUP Digital Politics Title: “Taking Our Country Back” by Daniel Kreiss

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A further new title in the Oxford University Press book series I edit, Oxford Studies in Digital Politics, has just been published: Taking Our Country Back: The Crafting of Networked Politics from Howard Dean to Barack Obama, by Daniel Kreiss.

Click here for more detail on the book.

Click here for more detail on the book series and forthcoming titles.

And again: happy reading!

Amazon U.S. (in stock now)

Amazon U.K. (stock arriving later in the summer)

Speaking at the Holberg Prize Symposium Next Week, June 5

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I’ll be speaking at this year’s Holberg International Memorial Prize Symposium in Bergen, Norway, on June 5.

This year, the prize of NOK 4.5 million (or EUR 570,000/USD 800,000) has been awarded to Manuel Castells for his outstanding work as the leading sociologist of the city and new information and media technologies. The prize is awarded annually for outstanding scholarly work in the fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law, and theology. Congratulations to Manuel!

For more information about the 2012 Holberg International Memorial Prize, click here.

For more information about the 2012 Holberg International Memorial Prize Symposium programme, click here.

The Symposium is open to the public and there is a full programme of events over three days, some of which are organised as part of the Bergen International Festival. Several of the events are open to the public. Check the Holberg Prize website for details.

Update June 26, 2012: there is a Holberg Prize Flickr stream here.