Debates about media globalisation increasingly recognise the significance of national identity for an understanding of both the national exploitation of global media and resistances to them. This paper focuses on the issue of national identity and seeks to clarify its nature and ways in which it has been conceptualised in order to more precisely understand its relationship to media globalisation. It draws attention to distinctions between national identity, national culture and nationalism whilst noting continuing themes, and points to the importance of television in the construction and maintenance of these notions. Using examples from China, Israel, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore and Canada, the paper discusses links between national identities, the policies of national governments and the television landscape. Particular attention is drawn to the role of language in the formation and maintenance of national identity. This is examined in the context of Cyprus and provides a basis for a discussion of the relationship between television and national identity in Cyprus elsewhere in that collection of papers.
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