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Border Guards of the “Imagined” Watan: Arab Journalists and the New Arab Consciousness
Abstract

Abstract:

Media plays a fundamental role in the formation of national identity, most famously detailed in Benedict Anderson’s theory of the imagined community. In the Arab world, a media revolution is contributing to the emergence of a reawakened regional Arab consciousness. A comparison of data from the first major regional survey of Arab journalists and the results of various public opinion polls in the region indicate that Arab journalists stand on the borderlands of Arab identity, shaping an emerging “imagined” watan [nation] that, in some ways, transcends the traditional lines in the sand that define the nation-state.