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How I took Cafébabel home with me to Madrid

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News from Home

We’re launching a series of informal articles written by Cafébabel staff to explain the changes the magazine is going through. Most importantly: a new editorial line, new sections, new plans, new faces and - of course - new cities on the Babel map! Madrid and Rome are now home to two of our editors. 

It’s 9:30 am on a Monday. I’m running late. But hey, it doesn’t matter because surely the others aren’t online yet. I can always say that, on my way to work, I was distracted by something beautiful. Or I could blame the subway… or our decentralisation strategy.

From January 2018 onwards, Cafébabel’s headquarters are no longer only based in Paris. We have newsrooms in Madrid, Brussels and Rome too. It’s exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Managing the magazine and all its language versions from our Paris newsroom on rue Saint Denis had its charming perks, but it’s something that we had been doing for 15 years. The more the magazine grew, the more we realised we needed editors on the ground. In order to keep growing, to learn and to feel the local climate – to really see what’s going on – we decided to get settled in some of Europe’s capitals. Madrid is one of those capitals, although it’s something that people from this city often forget…

When I arrive at the co-working space, which is comfortably nestled in Madrid’s Lavapiés neighbourhood, my first reflex isn’t to read newspapers and eat a pain au chocolat like my colleagues in Paris. Instead, I open the six windows that allow me to be connected to the entire world (and to my colleagues). I use Slack to share articles, tasks and discuss ideas with my colleagues; Facebook to reach out to my community of readers; my email inbox to stay in touch with Spanish contributors; Google Hangouts to participate in editorial meetings; Instagram to drool over people’s perfect lives and Whatsapp to see what the latest gossip is. Am I forgetting something? Oh yeah, the drama that comes with not having any Internet connection…

But so far, so good. For now, let’s keep swimming! 

Story by

Ana Valiente

Spanish freelance journalist based in Madrid. Currently exploring the boundless world of documentary filmmaking.

Translated from Cada uno en su casa y Cafébabel en la de todos