Silvio Waisbord’s article highlights an interesting discussion on the current interaction between media and nationalism. I see media enhancing nationalism by drawing attention to it. In this respect, I suggest changing the wording of Waisbord’s title from Reinvention (which implies a change from a previous form) to Rediscovery (which implies a closer examination of something already established).
This rediscovery involves nationalism becoming more defined when societies come in closer contact with different nations. This interaction, which has been intensified by advances in transportation and media technology, allows us to see more clearly what makes our nation unique (including symbols, history, values, rituals) and further bind us to it.
Weaver discussed this in his reflections at Aoyama Gakuin University in 2007. He says, “Increasingly we become more aware of other cultures and our own. As a result our own culture becomes more important to us.” (Weaver, p11) He also gives the example of Fela Kuti from Nigeria who said he did not know what it meant to be African until he left Africa.
These examples support the idea that interactions with other nations help us more clearly define our own sense of nationalism. Media has increased the speed and volume of these interactions making the world smaller and putting nations in closer communication that ever before.