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Leen d'Haenens Frédéric Antoine Frieda Saeys

Abstract

Belgian broadcasting clearly reflects the country's sociological make-up as well as its changing political, ideological, linguistic and regional map. The country comprises three regions (the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Capital regions) and three Communities (The Flemish, French-language and German-language Communities), each of which has its own legislative and executive institutions. Above them, we find the Federal Government which exercises power in national affairs. The country is almost always governed by a coalition, and broadcasting policy is invariably the result of compromise and seldom reflects a straightforward vision. In its structure, broadcasting reflects developments in state structure: the movement from a unitary to a fully-federalised model. In the meantime, the three Communities have also developed their own separate policies on private broadcasting companies, each fitting into the framework of its own policies on the media. While Flanders has only experienced a competitive television system at the end of the eighties, Frenchspeaking Belgium has experienced a de facto internal private/public television duopoly since the early seventies.

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