(Vol. 63 No. 2 Spring 2009) 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.

Vol. 63, Issue 2, Spring 2009

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By Lawrence Pintak

Lawrence Pintak is an award-winning journalist and scholar. He is a former CBS News Middle East correspondent and was founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University (2009-2016). He was named a Fellow of the Society by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2017 for "outstanding service to the profession of journalism" around the world. Pintak is a contributor to ForeignPolicy.com, The Daily Beast, and other outlets. Read his articles at pintak.com. His books include Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens: America, Islam & The War of Ideas; Islam for Journalists (co-editor); The New Arab Journalist; and Seeds of Hate: How America’s Flawed Middle East Policy Ignited the Jihad. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Wales, Trinity St. David. Follow him on Twitter @LPintak.

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