The name is an essential mark of one’s identity, and if someone is pressured to change it under any circumstances it would naturally lead to feelings of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and doubt, because it is not only important how people see themselves, but also how they want to be seen by others, as well as how others see them. This paper analyses the discursive processes used by the media sources to negotiate and construct the identity of Macedonians in the period before and after the change of the name of the country from the Republic of Macedonia into the Republic of North Macedonia in 2019. Taking interaction and language as central to the construction, enactment and negotiation of identity, a corpus of 20 articles of both pro- and anti-governmental newspaper outlets, written before, during and after the name change were analysed and parallels were drawn in terms of the language used by both media sources to discuss the identity of Macedonian people. The analysis showed that while the pro-governmental media were attempting to portray a new identity of Macedonians in the EU, the anti-governmental ones presented the name-change as a threat to a complete identity loss (Trajkova, 2020). This situation left the Macedonian citizen confused, scared and in doubt of what was the right or wrong path to take.
Keywords: identity construction, name-change issue, newspaper outlets, discursive processes