All About Whom? Stock Photos, Interactive Narratives and How News About Governmental Surveillance Is Visualized

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A two-stage analysis examined visuals in news related to governmental surveillance, finding that just as surveillance has shifted from visual evidence to dataveillance, journalism is shifting its notion of visual evidence from photojournalism to journalistic data representations. First, a card sort analysis of news visuals was conducted on two news sites before and after Edward Snowden's document leak in June 2013. The news images remained relatively consistent, relying heavily on accessible official and stock photography sources. Second, a review of The Guardian's contemporaneous “NSA Files: Decoded” multimedia package found personalized, data-rich visual storytelling techniques. Between the two approaches is a vast difference in how surveillance is represented and made accessible, with implications for the visual coverage of other challenging news topics. © ,Copyright Visual Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Communication.

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