By Bobby Lang
Today we visited the Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussels where we attended a lecture from Professor Hedwig. Her lecture discussed current media practices in Brussels and throughout Belgium. From the lecture, there are a few main ideas on the Belgian media landscape that I walked away with.
There is no main form of national media in Belgium due to the complexity in society between the French and Flemish (Dutch) populations. The society in Belgium is made up of two parts, communities and regions. Language and culture create communities and regions consists of government regulations and economic structure. These two entities divide the country of Belgium making media and all forms of communication complex. This complexity also derives from what is called Pillarisation, which is the segregation of political ideologies from how and where a Belgian is raised.
In Professor Hedwig’s lecture, the common forms of media in Belgium were also discussed. The population of Belgium still relies heavily on the physical newspaper, 65% of Belgians read newspapers daily while 50% never use an online form of news.
Another interesting fact about the Belgian media landscape is the dominance of public service broadcasting, not only in television but in radio as well. 40% of television are public service broadcasting channels ranging from sports and news to educational programs.
The public service broadcasting aspect of the Belgian media landscape creates the largest differentiating factors when comparing this landscape to American media. The complexities within the population of Belgium force the media to separate into entirely different platforms catering to entirely different target markets.
This post was originally published here.