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

Update September 2: This article has now published in the IJoC. Click here to download.

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 Organisations: The Case of the Guardian and the Edward Snowden NSA Leak" International Journal of Communication 8, 2014.


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 organiSations’ 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.