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Being a journalist in a multilingual country : representations of Dutch among Belgian French-speaking journalists

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Abstract
In this paper,we examine how the francophone TV audience is introduced to the Flemish community and its language through daily news broadcasts. More specifically, our research looks at how the Dutch language is used when francophone journalists prepare and produce their reports – during all stages of the process –, up until the actual broadcast. We therefore conducted 15 qualitative interviews with TV news journalists employed by the Belgian French-speaking public broadcaster. The interviews were organized around eight topics, e.g. the place of Dutch in the newsroom and the languages chosen during interactions with Dutch-speaking interviewees. From a discursive point of view, we focused on the selected lexical terms and rhetorical tropes (the various uses of the litotes, in particular) to unpack the journalists’ practices, in relation to their representations of Dutch. Our study provides notable insights into their representation of the differences between French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians as a generational issue, their tendency to assess their proficiency in Dutchmeasured against bilingualism, as well as their wish to beat the cliché of “the unilingual French-speaker”. These observations are coupled with criteria which explain why French might be preferred in the end: the TV audience’s comfort, general intelligibility and subtitling constraints.

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Chicago
Bouko, Catherine, Olivier Standaert, and Astrid Vandendaele. 2019. “Being a Journalist in a Multilingual Country : Representations of Dutch Among Belgian French-speaking Journalists.” Multilingua-journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communication.
APA
Bouko, C., Standaert, O., & Vandendaele, A. (2019). Being a journalist in a multilingual country : representations of Dutch among Belgian French-speaking journalists. MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION.
Vancouver
1.
Bouko C, Standaert O, Vandendaele A. Being a journalist in a multilingual country : representations of Dutch among Belgian French-speaking journalists. MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION. Walter de Gruyter; 2019;
MLA
Bouko, Catherine, Olivier Standaert, and Astrid Vandendaele. “Being a Journalist in a Multilingual Country : Representations of Dutch Among Belgian French-speaking Journalists.” MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION (2019): n. pag. Print.
@article{8577306,
  abstract     = {In this paper,we examine how the francophone TV audience is introduced
to the Flemish community and its language through daily news broadcasts. More
specifically, our research looks at how the Dutch language is used when francophone
journalists prepare and produce their reports – during all stages of the
process –, up until the actual broadcast. We therefore conducted 15 qualitative
interviews with TV news journalists employed by the Belgian French-speaking
public broadcaster. The interviews were organized around eight topics, e.g. the
place of Dutch in the newsroom and the languages chosen during interactions
with Dutch-speaking interviewees. From a discursive point of view, we focused on
the selected lexical terms and rhetorical tropes (the various uses of the litotes, in
particular) to unpack the journalists’ practices, in relation to their representations of
Dutch. Our study provides notable insights into their representation of the differences
between French- and Dutch-speaking Belgians as a generational issue, their
tendency to assess their proficiency in Dutchmeasured against bilingualism, as well
as their wish to beat the cliché of “the unilingual French-speaker”. These observations
are coupled with criteria which explain why French might be preferred in the
end: the TV audience’s comfort, general intelligibility and subtitling constraints.},
  author       = {Bouko, Catherine and Standaert, Olivier and Vandendaele, Astrid},
  issn         = {0167-8507},
  journal      = {MULTILINGUA-JOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL AND INTERLANGUAGE COMMUNICATION},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Walter de Gruyter},
  title        = {Being a journalist in a multilingual country : representations of Dutch among Belgian French-speaking journalists},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/multi-2018-0036},
  year         = {2019},
}

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