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My vision for Cafébabel's future

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Cafébabel

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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... in short, it's a whole new world!

Why on Earth don’t you publish in Esperanto?” This is the question you’re likely to ask yourself when you think about completely reconstructing a participatory and multilingual magazine.

When I took over the management of Cafébabel just over a year ago, I found myself in an organisation with 16 years of history, a magazine with six language versions, thousands of articles and dozens of local teams. I needed to understand the basis of this heritage while achieving the objective I was given: make Cafébabel’s structure durable and provide the magazine with a new participatory platform. The old platform didn’t meet the needs of our newfound editorial line. So we turned Cafébabel magazine into a truly young, pan-European editorial project of high quality.

This didn’t mean letting go of the magazine’s DNA – its community of devoted contributors and translators – without which we wouldn’t exist. In fact, it’s precisely for them that we decided to redevelop our online participation tool, making it possible to pitch or translate an article in just a few clicks.

We will never forget how, over the course of the past years, we helped train young journalists in participatory journalism. The new website is a way for us to pay tribute to them, and to develop our editorial line at the same time.

We’re not going to repeat how important Europe and multilingualism are. Yes, the European notion of a borderless geographical and cultural space isn’t always applauded. But we can probably change its course in history by reporting from the ground and explaining what’s really going on. What Europe is in real life. We can’t cut ourselves from the linguistic diversity of our continent. Still, it’s never easy to conceive, implement and publish a magazine in six languages. But that’s all part of the game.

And that’s where the new Cafébabel comes in. As people say: “For things to remain the same, everything must change." Still, we didn’t change everything to get to where we are. Let’s professionalise participatory journalism and embrace multilingualism as something intrinsically European!

A public platform open to everyone, a professional team of journalists to edit your articles and accompany you in your writing process, and a website published in six languages with several bureaus across Europe... we are here with you to spread the idea of Europe in real life, wherever you go in Europe. Voilà our ambition. Now it’s your turn to play: tell us a story!

Translated from Ma vision pour le futur de Cafébabel

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