Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Flemish Wallonian Divide - from the outside looking in

The New York Times appears to have made a poor job of reporting on the situation in Belgium.

Having interviewed the equivalent of America's KKK and a few Flemish nationalists, they failed in giving a balanced view of the Flanders/Wallonia divide here. It's the second time I've read an imbalanced report on the situation. For some reason, foreign journalists are drawn over to the French-speaking side of the argument. I guess it makes a good story but I prefer to read something balanced and work things out for myself.

Gert left the house muttering that he would be writing a letter explaining the situation to the paper.

It's difficult to have outsiders come in and attempt to comprehend the problems when Belgians themselves struggle to explain.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons why foreign journalists more often give a rather Walloon version of the facts is because most journalists dispatched to Belgium only speak French. There is nothing we can do about this. The Flemish just do not have the media in favour. It's an error to believe that the media gives the full account, they only give a version of the facts. The media are limited by languages, by who they contact and speak too. Objective media is a utopia and people should always keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember that the creatures living in Belgium are human beings? I get the feeling that we are seen as "objects" interesting for counting to see what object is a majority? For me there are people, maybe Europeans and if it is necessary Belgians. But I know Gert is defending an other opinion, and so is Maurice. Could they change their point of view wandering a bit more?
See you, and if not, enjoy the part of the world where you can't speak Nederlands or French and still have your breath taken by the people and the country! What a relieve!
Lut xx

Peter said...

Failing to give a balanced view of the Flanders/Wallonia divide is indeed prevalent when foreign newspapers report on Belgium.

@anonymous: 'One of the reasons why foreign journalists more often give a rather Walloon version of the facts is because most journalists dispatched to Belgium only speak French' is obviously incorrect.

While the powers that be in Wallonia tend to speak French with very poor English,
all Dutch speaking politicians (and, virtually most of the pop)
are multilingual, quite able to address an English speaking reporter from the NYT.

Just plain lazy, lousy journalism sounds like a better explanation.