Points:11 // Status: Free

3 - Belgium

The two regions have completely autonomous public broadcasters (RTBF and VRT) that produce content in French and Flemish, for both radio and television channels. Each region also has its own private broadcasting networks. Access to cable-based and foreign television channels is widespread.

The Belgian media industry has suffered from the economic downturn that began in 2008, as outlets are largely dependent on advertising revenues. Most media companies have sought to reduce staff, by up to a third in some cases. In 2013, 82 percent of the population had access to the internet, and there are no government restrictions on its use.




Freedom of the press is safeguarded under Articles 19 and 25 of the Belgian constitution, and the rights of the media are generally respected in practice. The print media are self-regulated by the Federation of Editors, an industry body in which all major newspapers are represented. Censorship of media content does not generally occur, and neither do cases of harassment or violence against journalists.