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Belgian Radio Initiative Connects Cultures

Public broadcasters organize 10th edition of the Belgodyssée initiative for young journalist

On Dec. 16, King Philippe of Belgium handed out the 2014 Belgodyssée Awards to Nikeli De Ceuninck and Mariam Alard.

The Belgodyssée project, which was launched 10 years ago and is a joint initiative between Belgium’s public Dutch-language broadcaster (VRT) and French-language public broadcaster (RTBF), recognizes young radio reporters in the country and promotes the idea of “working as a team, no matter what language you speak.”

The central theme of the 2014 edition was “Mixed Marriages,” and required reporters to produce a cross-cultural program looking at couples in Belgium who are culturally diverse.

Nikeli De Ceuninck took home an award for his program “Wittebroodsweken in de keuken” (“Honeymoon in the Kitchen”), which reported on Pierre and Marie Thérese Wynants, owners of the “Comme chez Soi” restaurant in Brussels, while Mariam Allard’s winning entry highlighted a “mixed” (Fleming-Walloon) couple’s wedding in Wemmel, near Brussels.

Thanks to the support from the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Belgium and the Prince Philippe Foundation, the two individual winners each earned a six-month stint at VRT Radio 2 (De Ceuninck) and RTBF VivaCité (Alard).

— Marc Maes