In the Middle East for instance it may not be anachronistic to see President George Bush and Osama bin Laden seen on parallel screens of different television channels simultaneously. This places greater pressures on the control of the mind space of the general masses for development of relatively sophisticated concepts as nationalism and national identity.
Iraq has been the subject of considerable debate in international polity in the past few years. This is so due to the total revolution that the state has been undergoing post intervention by United States led forces in 2003 and toppling of the Saddam regime. Outbreak of a civil war has added to the confusion as no clear picture on the fractious polity of the hapless state and its people is emerging. Simultaneously we have seen proliferation of media in all its forms in this short period, partly initiated by the United States forces efforts at public diplomacy and partly due to the natural growth of media in the Middle East revolutionized by the entry of television channels as Al Jazeera. ...
f the concept of national identity as it has existed in Iraq over the years, particularly from the time of the end of the First World War to the present times. How and in what way media can contribute to national identity is another facet which has been considered by an holistic analysis of media particularly its Iraqi dimension. The way ahead in involvement of the media in developing national identity in Iraq is covered in the final part of the paper. Identity is a political issue. Media and polity are umbilically interlinked as media is a political instrument of influence. Thus this study should provide us an insight of polity contributing to national identity as well as the role of media under such a dispensation.
The Concept of National Identity
Identity has been variously defined. When related to group identity it is said to be a sense of purpose and belonging to a common programme.1 It coagulates people with a notion of shared aims.2 It is also defined as a set of ideas which are constructed around the concept of a nation and relation of individuals and groups to these.3 In terms of national identity, it applies to people born and living in the same nation.4 Thus it would be clear that identity relates to development of commonality between two individuals or a group of people which creates a sense of belonging. It leads to cooperative relationship between people. When related with nations and people, two or more people naturalized in the same state and citizens of it can be called as nationals of that country. However this may be too narrow an understanding of national identity hence there is a need to develop this concept further to understand its nuances.
The attitude that people display about their nations is said to construe national identity and its