According to Wikipedia, nation building refers to the process of constructing or structuring a national identity using the power of the state; whereas state building is less widely used and is described as the construction of a functioning state. Two notions strongly intertwined, but not necessarily go hand-in-hand.
I attended a very interesting discussion last Thursday, arranged by a small group of journalist, with a Malaysian speaker who is a historician and a press expert on both Indonesian and Malaysian press. He has been researching about Indonesia and Malaysia since the ’50s; and his research includes various aspects of it, though mostly they are regarding language, culture and inevitably – press. His main point is that the current press situation in both countries is a result of a long history of colonialism, “democracy” and cultural dynamics.
He further stated that because Indonesia’s press had been flourishing since even before the independence declaration, and thus its current situation is much better than that of Malaysia’s. Despite its cultural differences and vast area, he thinks that Indonesia is very much “united”, in that the different cultures go along well with each other and, thanks to the 1928 Sumpah Pemuda declaration, they have one unifying language besides the 300+ local languages. Since 1928, he said, Indonesian press has been using Bahasa Indonesia in all publications, and it helped in the process of nation building.