This talk examines how journalistic practices around coverage of surveillance contribute to normalising the datafied society. Based on a content analysis of newspaper coverage, interviews with journalists covering stories related to surveillance, and focus groups with citizens, the seminar outlines a key tension between journalists’ self-understandings and practices. On the one hand, media coverage contributes to normalizing surveillance by emphasizing concerns about national security and the surveillance of elites, instead of the implications of datafication for citizens. On the other hand, journalists are frequently critical of mass surveillance. Despite journalists’ desire to communicate the complexities of datafication, the structural constraints of their professional practice make it difficult to move beyond the legitimating discourses provided by official sources. This, in turn, contributes to “surveillance realism” – a widespread resignation to surveillance amongst citizens.