By Bobby Lang
The Belgian-American Relationship
On Thursday, we visited the U.S.-European Media Hub and the U.S. Embassy. The two promote a great transatlantic relationship between the United States and Belgium as well as the rest of Europe. The Belgian-American relationship became strong during World War I with the help of Herbert Hoover and The Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB) where the United States supply food and aid to German-occupied Belgium and Northern France. Since then, this relationship is still thriving today.
We first met with Foreign Service Officer Maggy WHite at the media hub where U.S. policy makers connect with European radio and television broadcasting experts to promote American diplomacy. Our tour gave us insight to their interview and video studio as well as the radio studio room. Here the media hub conduct interviews and discussions on public affairs dealing with the United States and Europe, they are then broadcasted to radio, television, as well as made available to anyone in the world with video streaming at thenewsmarket.com.
We then had the opportunity to be informed on the public affairs and American diplomacy of the U.S. Embassy and the American Ambassador. As the Belgian population is bi-lingual, there can sometimes be challenges in getting the message across two audiences. The public diplomacy of the U.S. Ambassador in Belgium is very different than that of the Ambassador of say a country in the Middle East. Efforts of diplomacy are related to pursuing projects of shared goals and interest, which can be much easier in a sophisticated country such as Belgium.
The most interesting fact I took from this day deals with the Ambassador and effective diplomacy in this bi-lingual environment. The Flemish side of the population has proven to have higher levels of English skills than its French counterparts. This is due to the fact that in the television market, the Flemish do not dub their English channels, instead subtitles are used. With talk shows being more popular and the Flemish hearing English and reading subtitles, the Flemish population is easier to penetrate with diplomacy.
The original post was published here.