The role of the media in Belgium

belfalgLike in every country, here in Belgium there are two kinds of people. The ones that have facebook, instagram, twitter… and the ones who don’t. In my group of friends we usually text each other via Messenger (Facebook).

I use Facebook a lot, and follow multiple news agencies, hence Facebook is where I read the news. Social media is very practical in this case, as it offers live updates. After the terrorist attack in Brussels, everybody was informed within an hour.

belmed2Sometimes discussions rise on posts from these newspages, leading to harsh debates and sometimes to personal insults, but what you do have when you follow these pages on Facebook are news about everything… really everything. The homecoming of a character in a soap on TV, tricks for peeling an orange, information about politics… Everything is a news item on social media while TV only showcases the “important things” (not that I don’t like the tricks to peel an orange).

Furthermore, the media can sometimes be very different in their announcements. For example, after the attacks in Brussels, one agency focused the specific details of what happened, while another one showed people singing together as a sign of solidarity.

Finally, news coverage is not really different for those who do not use social media. When one wants to follow the news, one has access to broadcasts on TV, when one wants to keep in touch with friends, one can write e-mails or letters. But for those who possess social media account, it can be handy because social media offers you a different approach to news coverage.

– by Arnout V.