• Introduced in parliament in November 2015, the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill was the most recent version of legislation written to provide a statutory basis for a range of powers providing police and security services with various means of capturing or intercepting electronic communications. Previous efforts at legislating for these powers attracted widespread criticism, and provoked political and legal opposition, and this Bill reprised concerns over what some felt to be the excessive scope of the powers included. This research seeks to examine UK national newspaper reporting of the legislation, published around the dates of the publication of the draft version of the bill, and when the legislation passed into law as The Investigatory Powers Act 2016, in order to evaluate the quality of this reporting.

    Using the methodology of Critical Discourse Analysis to examine reports from a representative selection of UK national newspapers, the study aims to identify the dominant ways in which the issues are constructed in the news, and the range of sources which are drawn upon to demonstrate the disparate perspectives available. Working from the basis that newspapers represent a significant source of public information on important contemporary social issues, the research seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of newspaper reporting in providing a full and informative depiction of such matters.