cafébabel, the first European media
cafébabel is a public forum which firmly gives the floor to actors in the civil society and the ‘eurogeneration’ – a term coined to recognise the first generation of mobile, internet-savvy European citizens. Above all, cafébabel is an innovator in the field of participatory journalism, and in encouraging contributors to express themselves in their native tongue.
cafébabel was founded in 2001 by Erasmus exchange programme students. The idea was to cross linguistic and national borders in Europe by using the rising star of the internet as a vector of that expression.
Based on the principle of participatory journalism, today the network comprises over 16, 000 registered members. Up to1, 500 contributors and 20 ‘local offices’ write about Europe as they see it – be it through the prisms of society, culture, lifestyle or politics. cafébabel gives young journalists and citizen journalists the floor to express themselves.
It’s a testament to the work of its volunteer contributors that cafébabelis simultaneously translated into six languages – French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish.
cafébabel is headquartered in Paris with a core staff of ten people, six of whom are professional journalists, each managing a linguistic edition. They coordinate, commission from and talent spot across the European network, which is fortified in various cities by our enthusiastic, committed volunteer local teams.
One of the cornerstones of cafébabel’s identity is its organisation of real-time events with its network:
Reporting ‘on the ground
The flagship, multiple award-winning programme celebrates feature reports from various capitals, cities and regions across the EU, the Balkans and Turkey. Every year, cafebabel.com selects between 50 and 100 of its best talent to ‘go on the ground’ over a four-day period, where journalists and photographers from a multitude of backgrounds work to produce original content for the site, seeing Europe from their young, unique combination of experiences. In 2013 the reports are written ‘on the ground’ under the theme of ‘EUtopia’.
Training: journalism seminars
Every year, cafébabel organises seminars aimed at our wider network, on themes such as writing for the internet, using new medias and formats. The conferences are also tailored for our local office leaders and members on how to manage their teams of volunteers and organise events on a local level. In 2013, cafébabel is host to two events nourishing the cord between journalists from the continent and its neighbours: ‘Speak Up! Europe’ (March 2013) and Euromed Academy, (June 2013).