Brussels Media – The Breakdown

A couple of months ago I wrote a blog piece puncturing the myth of the shrinking EU press corps. Far from dwindling, I showed how the number of correspondents in Brussels has risen constantly over the last four decades – and continues to grow despite the crisis. According to the latest official figures, there were 1022 journalists accredited to the European Commission in September 2013. However, Lorenzo Consoli, the former president of the Foreign Press Association in Brussels, recently informed me this figure had jumped to 1095 by the end of 2013.

Evolution Press Corps SizeWhen I published my article, I promised a breakdown of the Brussels press corps – something not even the European Commission has done. So below you will find data on the gender, nationality and type of media journalists in Brussels work for. In addition, we show who are the big beasts in the Brussels media – ie, which media organisations employ more than a handful of reporters.

Continue reading

Inside the Belgeway


When President Barack Obama visits Brussels for the first time on March 26, he will discover a city that – in many ways – is Europe’s version of Washington D.C.

Both are medium-sized capitals with large commuter belts, fine restaurants and delightful green spaces. They are relatively wealthy cities with large pockets of poverty – Brussels is the third richest region in the European Union but has a youth unemployment rate of almost 30%. In both places everyone seems to be from somewhere else – and in Brussels’ case this is largely true with over half the population born abroad or to foreign parents. And they have a complicated status within their respective nations. Brussels is the glue that holds divided Belgium together, a Francophone city surrounded by Dutch-speaking Flanders. The District of Columbia, to the befuddlement of most foreigners and many Americans, is the capital of the United States but its elected representatives have no voting rights in Congress.

Continue reading

The Myth of the Shrinking EU Press Corps

1250 px ©European Parliament--Pietro Naj-Oleari.jpg - Filming

Remember all those scary stories about dwindling press numbers in Brussels a few years ago? Well, turns out they were wrong. Far from falling, the number of journalists accredited to the EU has actually risen over the past decade – from 929 in June 2004 to 1022 in September 2013, according to unpublished European Commission figures.

Continue reading

Books for Budding Journalists


Some light summer reading

Books changed my life. If I hadn’t read Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun when I was 16, I wouldn’t have gone to work in Oslo after finishing school. And if I hadn’t read Milan Kundera and other Czech writers just before the collapse of communism I wouldn’t have headed to teach English in Prague after university. Both were formative experiences for me and taught me more about life than any academic courses.

Books not only educated, inspired and entertained me. They opened up new horizons, fed my curiosity and sparked a desire to travel more, learn more and experience more. Without a love of books I would, quite simply, never have become a journalist.

When I made this point to a recent group of journalist students, one of them asked me to send a list of books I would recommend reading over the summer. This is the result. Not all the books are the work of journalists and they are certainly not all about journalism. But I am convinced that reading just some of these works will not only make you better writers but more-rounded human beings. Happy reading!

Continue reading

Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.