Media and Construction of Community

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by Hamid Raza Khan*

Traditionally, the media has been organised to perform a variety of socio-political roles such as the provision of information, education, entertainment and transmission of values. However, a key role any national media is expected to perform at any given time is the creation of a national identity and sense of unity among members of communities divided by time and space. From the development of print technology to the onset of broadcast revolution, millions of people have “acquired their fi rst (and subsequent) taste of nationality when newspapers put them in contact with distant realities, radios exposed them to distant voices that addressed audiences as members of one cultural community, movies portrayed themes that bound them together with close and distant neighbors, and television articulated values that defi ned the national character” (Waisbord, 1998).

* Hamid Raza Khan is a civil servant currently heading the public relations department of a public sector organization.