E-book 19: The Future of the Belgian Press

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Published in English in October 2016, 35 pages

Lead piece by: Els De Bens and Karin Raeymaeckers. Comment by Frédéric Antoine.

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Abstract

The 13th public event of the Re-Bel initiative, from which this e-book stems, was held on 18 June 2015. It hosted highly instructive presentations by Els De Bens (UGent), Frédéric Antoine (UCL) and François Heinderyckx (ULB), followed by a lively panel with the participation of Ides Debruyne (Journalism Fund), Béatrice Delvaux (Le Soir), Tom Naegels (De Standaard), Leo Neels (ex-Belga) and Karl van den Broeck (Apache).

Central at the meeting was the sharp contrast between trends in circulation (i.e. average number of copies printed per day, whether sold or not) in the Dutch-language and French-language daily press, as strikingly illustrated by Figure 5 in the lead piece. From a media landscape massively dominated by the French-language press up to the middle of the twentieth century, we have been moving at a quick pace to one dominated by the Dutch-language press. Such a phenomenon is far from irrelevant for an initiative such as ours that is focused on Belgium's institutional future.

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