By DJ Adams
Pop quiz! Who is the Minister of Media in Belgium? Don’t worry, I’ll wait… Give up? No worries, I did not know her name is Ingrid Leiten until a few hours ago. Today we met with Professor Hedwig Desmaele who is a professor of journalism at HUB, and the first thing she tells us is that “there is no such thing as Belgian Media!” I immediately think “Wait… I’m sorry? What do you mean? I have seen news and newspapers all around the city, right?” Professor Desmaele explains in detail that all media is seemingly broken into either Flemmish or French. Are you beginning to see a pattern here? It seems as if everything culturally here is segregated between the two cultures and languages. While in America, we may describe a community as a neighborhood, Professor Desmaele decribes Belgian communities as being separated by language.
Professor Desmaele focuses her research around Russian Media and often compares it to the media in Belgium. She explained that Russian media maintains a degree of control and political system that manifests itself in the media and Russian journalists try andWhat I have realized in America is
that the paper newspaper is a dying medium. Many American’s prefer to get their information from social networking websites such as face book, or they will watch it on TV, maybe even have an electronic version of a newspaper delivered to their e-mail inbox every morning. Here, it is the opposite. Professor Desmaele explains that about 65% of the Flanders population (or the Northern Belgians) read physical newspapers, and 52% hold a subscription to a newspaper, and remarkably 50% say they NEVER read online. All the while, I can not remember the last time I picked up a physical newspaper… It’s actually quite sad! *shrugs shoulders* C’est la vie.
After lunch we visited the Belvue! Museum which is built on top the former palace of Brussels. Here, we learned more about Belgian history, saw some amazing artifacts including a drawn plan of what they hoped Brussels would look like (and it does), some cool body armor, and even a few simulated kings and queens.shape the political view. However, compared to Belgium and America, the ethical guidelines in Russia are more relaxed, to the point that bribes (known as Zakupka) are even accepted and encouraged. Must be nice right? To think that bribes are ok. While on the other hand receiving a bribe makes that journalist responsible for writing the view of whoever gave them the bribe. Is it worth it?
Leaving the Museum, I was determined to find the perfect form of chocolate to write about today, and with the help of my number one home maker Jerrice, we found the delightful and wonderful Macaroon (not to be confused with the coconut treat). Macaroons are a French light and fluffy treat that has a semi-hard outer shell and a creamy inner layer. They come in all sorts of colors and flavors. Today, we sampled a cafe-chocolat macaroon which on the outside had a slight coffee flavor while inside was a rich almost dark chocolate. Now, I believe that Jerrice can make ANYTHING but she explained to me that making the perfect macaroon takes time, and patience (which I was not blessed with). If an apprentice of Martha Stewart feels this way then I will definitely appreciate the time and effort the chocolatiers put into this wonderful treat.As we progressed through the museum we quickly realized that all thereally cool stuff was
found underneath the museum where they call “Under the Royal District.” We were given a code that when entered had a sort of “open sesame” effect as we were allowed admittance into an area anyone would get a weird vibe from. We are quickly learning the strange fears everyone has, me flying,
Jessica hates revolving doors, and Augustin is afraid of heights, and now I am pretty sure she is a medium because as we are progress through the underground museum with all the strange sounds she soon had me convinced that the spirit of King Leopold was our invisible tour guide. Now, when something unexplained happens, we will just blame it on the King.
I am determined to find a liquid form of chocolate for next time, so until then…
This post was originally published here.