The objective of this paper is twofold. The first aim is to examine the characteristics of the celebrity press in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) in comparison
with the foreign celebrity press. The second aim is to characterise the interaction between local celebrities and journalists, as conflict, cooperation or negotiation. To
this end, a content analysis was performed on the three Flemish celebrity magazines and leading journalists, editors and celebrities were interviewed. The results show that, first, the majority of the articles cannot be typified as ‘gossip’ stories and, second, most
journalists and celebrities label the mutual relationship as one of cooperation and negotiation. However, as a result of market competition, Flemish celebrity journalists
are increasingly pushing ethical boundaries. The paper discusses how the press can both make and break a celebrity’s career. Specifically, ordinary people who rise to unexpected fame through their participation in reality shows have very limited negotiation leverage.