News agencies

Belgium has always had one major news agency, Belga News Agency, which was founded in 1920 and started to cover domestic news in 1925. From 1944 onwards, editorial work was done both in Dutch and French, with a division into two separate desks in 1970. In cooperation with international partners such as Agence France-Presse (AFP) its service Belga Image offers thousands of press photos every day. Since 2009, Belga also offers creative commons and even royalty-free images. The Belgian newspapers became the majority shareholder in 1948.

Digitalization at Belga started in 1981 and continued with the adoption of new technologies that allowed for the real-time delivery of material: fax, an ISDN network (for sending colour photos) and e-mail. In 2001, SMS services for mobile phones were also started. Five years later, Belga started to supply video material for websites. With this, Belga started to compete with, a European supplier of online news video material that had a quasi-monopoly on the Belgian market until 2006. Nowadays, both the public and private broadcasters have become very active in selling video material to newspaper websites too.