ImagiNation: News discourse, nationhood and civil society

Paul Frosh*, Gadi Wolfsfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This article explores the ways in which television news broadcasts represent and construct nationhood in circumstances of protracted political and often military conflict. Such circumstances can lead to an affirmation of nationhood by foregrounding civil society rather than the state or organized politics: media representations turn the resilience of everyday interpersonal relationships into a conspicuous national value, and ultimately into a myth of national character. Analysing an extreme instance of news discourse in crisis conditions (Israeli television coverage of a suicide bombing of a bus in Jerusalem), the article identifies several discursive strategies for constructing an overall image of national civil society, focusing in particular on the ways in which these intertwine both ethnic and civic conceptions of nationhood.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)105-129
Number of pages25
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Ethnicity
  • Everyday life
  • Israel
  • Nationalism
  • Television
  • Terrorism


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