How linguistically divided media represent linguistically divisive issues : Belgian political TV-debates on Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde in regional and federal studies
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Regional and federal studies. - London, 1995, currens
, p. 311-330
In line with public sphere theory, media in federal political systems can be expected to provide a forum for federal debate on federal issues. However, as media in Belgium are organized at the level of the language communities this is not necessarily the case. This contribution analyses how political TV debates of the two public broadcasters in Belgium represented the issue of the split of the electoral district BrusselsHalle-Vilvoorde (BHV), on which politicians of both language communities were divided. Results show that Dutch-speaking and French-speaking media in Belgium do not serve as a platform for federal debate where the contrasting viewpoints can be expressed, but rather echo and amplify the political consensus of their own language community.