Following privatization reforms in Israeli media, we explore local and global factors beyond the state that may promote national identifications. In an ethnographic study of commercial Radio Haifa during and after the 2006 Lebanon War, we describe how the local radio replaced state and military functions in the home front as local residents came under attack by Hezbollah rockets. The radio station gave warning of incoming rockets, guided residents during their stay in shelters, engineered the collective mood, and promoted civic welfare. By subscribing to a Zionist-heroic discourse, the station attained legitimacy and commercial success and transformed into a player in the national field, well beyond its regional mandate. Against claims that global-commercial pressures undermine both state structures and national sentiments, this study suggests that commercial and peripheral actors present new ways for promoting nationalism in lieu of the state.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study is part of a research project approved and supported by the Hammer Scholarship of the Second Authority for Television and Radio.