Once again, the Flemish Interest appears to be firmly under-represented in the recreational programmes of the VRT.
This is shown by figures by Flemish MP Anke Van dermeersch (Flemish Interest) who were asked to apply for Flemish media minister Benjamin Dalle (CD&V). Despite Van dermeersch's party becoming the second largest party in Flanders in May last year with 18.5% of the vote, the party only came into view once in 2019, accounting for only 1.32% of all recreational VRT programming with politicians. "Nothing but malicious intent can be suspected." Last year, the Flemish Interest was barely mentioned once in VRT programmes that did not bring news or explanation. This is a single performance by party chairman Tom Van Grieken in 'Van Gils & Guests' on 22 April 2019. The PVDA appears to be equally underexposed and was not even discussed once. The Communists received only 5.3% of the vote in May. Other parties were again firmly overrepresented by the VRT. N-VA received no less than 37% of the relevant 'screentime', and CD&V and Open Vld were also awarded 21%; well above their electoral results. Green and sp.a had to do it again by 7% and 13% respectively. A total of 76 TV programmes including The Ideal World, Peace on Earth and Van Gils & Gasten.Vlaams Belang: "It cannot be that potential political abuse of the VRT is also hidden"As far as recreational VRT radio is concerned, the skew less large, but nevertheless firmly present. This was especially in favour of CD&V and Open Vld. They accounted for 25% and 27.63% of the radio episodes a politician covered, respectively. Here, too, the Flemish Interest (3 performances) and the PVDA (0 performances) are pushed back the most. In total, radio is also about 76 episodes in total." The fact that there are not the same balance lines for relaxing programmes makes sense, but these skews are so grotesque that nothing but harm can be suspected," says Van dermeersch. "Moreover, politicians' appearances in relaxing programmes cannot be underestimated in terms of impact, just to mention Bart De Wever in The Smartest Man." The above figures concern only the VRT's programmes with content other than news or explanation. After all, public service broadcasting has been refusing to provide similar figures for its effective news and interpretation programmes for years. "It is high time that Minister Dalle obliged the VRT to unlock this information. It cannot be the intention that potential political abuse of the VRT will also be hidden," van dermeersch concludes. Earlier, Flemish MP Klaas Slootmans (Flemish Interest) also showed that of all political guests who were guests in the VRT debate programme De Afspraak in 2019, only 3% of Flemish Interest signatures were available. Picture: Flemish Interest. Source: Figures Minister Benjamin Dalle.