Katharina Nötzold explores whether and how mass media can contribute to nation-building after civil war. Drawing on the example of Lebanon's audiovisual media organisations, which are mostly privately owned by politicians, she demonstrates how political elites use television to transmit their visions of post-war society. Lebanon's nation-building process from 1990 to 2005 was characterized by Syrian dominance over political life. From an extensive content analysis of Lebanese news and interviews with analysts, journalists and managers from all Lebanese TV stations, it emerges that political information on television focused more on divisive experiences than cohesive ones. This has underpinned continued sectarianism in Lebanon, in the media as in society at large, and has impeded nation-building.
Katharina Nötzold is a political scientist and RCUK Research Fellow at the University of Westminster's Arab Media Centre, and she completed her PhD in Media and Communications at the University of Erfurt, Germany. She lived in Beirut and Amman and worked previously for the Center for International Peace Operations, Berlin. She is editor of Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture and author of articles on Arab media and media representations of migrants and Islam.
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