In today’s world, media continues to play a huge role in sustaining nationalism. While media technology is moving away from the traditional forms of communication such as print news and radio/TV, the internet and social media still help form ideas of nationalism.
Take CNN.com, for example. When you go to the site you have two options: the US version, or the International version. As a US-based news outlet, CNN gives its readers the “Us or them” option. As we discussed in class, take the Fox News logo, with its ever-present American flag waving in the corner. Social media can be used to sustain nationalism as well. On Facebook or Twitter, we are likely to find groups of follow users we have interests with: often related to our ideas of nationalism. The internet is probably the biggest form of “mass” communication yet. While traditional media is limited by signal strength, geography, airwave availability, etc, the internet can be reached by anyone anywhere. There are of course countries that restrict access to certain sites or social networks, but even that can be bypassed with technology masking your IP Address. While you can probably argue that the internet is more niche focused than general such as traditional news, its ability to reach the masses is much greater than any traditional news outlet.
The internet also can work to create cross-boundary nationalism much greater than traditional outlets. If you are a citizen abroad, depending on where you are located, getting a copy of the New York Times every day, or even weekly, may be very difficult. However assuming you have internet access, you could continue to read your nation’s news or connect with groups that share your common ideas.
While I focused mostly on news media, which is my interest, other forms of media play roles in nationalism as well. The entertainment world is dominated by Hollywood, where the movies shown across the globe mostly focus on the American way of life. Music is often a very powerful way of forming nationalism. Take country music in America, for example, which is full of American nationalism (As Toby Keith once eloquently wrote, “We’ll stick a boot in your ass, it’s the American way”