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All-seeing eyes: metaphors of surveillance in the media monitoring industry
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0020-2609
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1167-046x
2018 (English)In: Northern Lights, ISSN 1601-829X, E-ISSN 2040-0586, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 23-39Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to analyse and compare how technologies of media monitoring have been imagined as seeing devices at two turning points in media history – around 1900 and in the 2000s. The press-cutting agencies that were established during the late nineteenth century, depending on human eyes and scissors, were said to deliver customized news updates, business data and information on public opinion. As seeing devices, they took names such as Argus, Observer and Atlas. These agencies made it possible to see the world on paper. Today, media monitoring depends on automatic processes rather than human eyes. Yet, digital technologies are usually represented by images of old media devices such as magnifying glasses, binoculars, telescopes and watchtowers. These well-known and transparent technologies make the black boxes of digital media seem less strange, but they might also mask the assumptions and complexities that are built into them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 16, no 1, p. 23-39
Keywords [en]
digital tools, imaginary media, information, media history, noise, rhetoric, surveillance
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148999DOI: 10.1386/nl.16.1.23_1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148999DiVA, id: diva2:1218158
Available from: 2018-06-14 Created: 2018-06-14 Last updated: 2018-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Carlsson, EricJarlbrink, Johan
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CiteExportLink to record
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