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inside cafébabel

On 3rd to 4th of April 2012, executive director of was invited in Belgrade to speak at the 4M conference "journalism and new media"  gathering 90 media professionals from France and South-Eastern Balkans. Alexandre Heully introduced the innovation of cafebabel.

com in the field of participatory journalism, consisting in publishing in 6 languages contributions from a network of volunteer contributors from all around Europe and edited by professional journalists in Paris.

He explained that was created in 2001 out of a need to create a new "pan-European" editorial product, offering the chance for young Europeans to read news in a European perspective. created an editorial product that traditional media were not able to propose.

The other innovation of is its ability to send every year over 90 non-professional journalists to write feature reports in Europe, in the Balkans and Turkey such as "Orient Express Reporter" and "Multikulti on the ground".

This conference was an opportunity to discuss with the audience the revolution of citizen participation in online media and the new challenges for traditional print media.

Along with Johan Hufnagel, editor in chief of, Alexandre Heully explained that online media and participatory shouldn't be considered as a threat to print media but as an exciting opportunity to engage a conversation with the readers and reinvent the role of journalists.

He concluded that the multiplication of content produced by non-professional journalists on social media such as Facebook and Twitter is challenging the monopoly of professional journalists on content production. This trend will push online journalists to work as content editors by selecting and fact checking content prior to publication and by engaging conversations with the audience.

The program of 4M conference in Belgrade is available here