You want to write about politics, soeciety, culture, travelling and other topics in an international magazine? Then this is your opportunity. AEGEE-Lyon mad a brand-new partnership with Le Journal International, a youth-led, multilingual well-recognised magazine. The antenna is now looking for authors in the AEGEE network that are interested in contributing with their ideas and articles. How this works and what the journal is about, read here in this interview with Marine Betrancourt, President of AEGEE-Lyon.

Le Journal Marine profile
Marine Betrancourt

GT: How did this partnership start and who intiated it?
Marine Betrancourt: AEGEE-Lyon, as well as Le Journal International, have the chance to be part of the House of Students of the city of Lyon, which is basically a co-working space for about 50 youth organisations dealing with various topics. All volunteers spend a lot of time working there, so we got to know each other. Last Monday, while having a cigarette break in freezing Lyon, I, once more, started teasing the Editor-in-Chief of Le Journal International about how AEGEE was so full of opportunities – and somehow we ended agreeing that we should actually put our cooperation on paper. Two days later, we were signing a partnership agreement!

GT: What does the cooperation consist of?
Marine: Our partnership is based on providing Le Journal International with, at least, 1 article per week on a topic approved by the editors’ team. It should be around 4000 letters and written in French, English, Spanish or Portuguese – and soon in German and Italian, as well. The article will be signed as, for example “Marine Betrancourt, Présidente d’AEGEE-Lyon” and the logo of AEGEE would appear at the bottom of the article.

GT: Sounds good.
Marine: As they will be giving more visibility to AEGEE throughout their readers’ international network, AEGEE-Lyon agrees to share through our network the articles to raise awareness on Le Journal International and eventually, recruit AEGEEans from all over Europe and beyond to become contributors or journalists to Le Journal International. And really, I believe it’s a really nice opportunity to put a light on meaningful local, regional or national news happening around Europe that are not – or little – treated by traditionnal media. So contribute!

GT: The website of Le Journal International looks really impressive. You mentioned it is a youth-led independent international media. So who are the writers? And who finances it?
Marine: Le Journal International gained more and more visibility and credibility throughout the years. They are a strong international network of 200 contributors and journalists around the world. Their contributors are mainly students on an exchange year abroad – but not only. And they are always open to new contributions, especially from AEGEE locals. Le Journal International had some printed version for some time, but the economic situation for printed media is not good, so they focus their work on the online version. Otherwise, they are funded through public grants and working on a voluntary basis.

Le Journal Marine
The first article in the framework of the cooperation, written by Marine Betrancourt.

GT: What kind of topics do they usually cover?
Marine: They cover a wide range of topics; from international politics, economy and diplomacy to culture, technology or science. Their articles are really in depth, generally which got them to win several national youth press prizes and to gain journalistic credibility.

GT: The cooperation sounds really great. Did some members or antennae already reply to write something?
Marine: We got some replies from members, yet nothing formal, but it seems it raised some excitement from the network about our partnership with Le Journal International. We are really happy to see that the Elections Observations Project is really looking forward to publish articles about their missions – the upcoming one being in Estonia. This would be really great! We are looking forward to see more AEGEE members contributing to that partnership and to shed a light on what’s happening in their region.

GT: Did AEGEE-Lyon already suggest some topics?
Marine: Last Friday the first article of our partnership was published. Actually, I wrote it and it’s about the stakes of the current European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case on appeal in front of the Grand Chamber, “Perinçek vs. Switzerland”. The case is really interesting, dealing with the Armenian Genocide and the question of “historical truth” and “historical fact”. It is also echoing the current debate of freedom of expression versus hate speech and the stakes of the ECHR decision for Swiss internal policy in the light of the upcoming popular vote on putting internal law above international law – and how it could lead Switzerland to leave the Council of Europe, and so the ECHR. So far, the article is only available in French, but will soon be translated.

Le Journal FB
The Facebook page of Le Journal International

GT: Nice! Do you have further ideas?
Marine: We selected some topics for the upcoming weeks, such as the case of Belarus and the EU in the light of Russia’s foreign policy and the implication towards Ukraine or the civil society in Azerbaijan. It really depends on people’s interests to write about.

GT: Anything else you would like to add?
Marine: AEGEEans contribute! International traditional media often go to fast and are selective on what’s happening in the world and often, we miss out on striking issues happening next door – on a European scale! It’s our chance to put light on those issues from our perspective. We have a strong network all over Europe and we should use it to tell each other and beyond about what’s happening! I’m actually really proud that such a small antenna as AEGEE-Lyon managed this partnership with Le Journal International and could contribute that way to our network. It really gave us a new energy to keep on achieving new challenges – after organizing an amazing TSU with AEGEE-Genova last summer, for example. So remember, no matter the size, it’s the motivation and involvement that counts. Thank you and freezing hugs from Lyon – where you are all welcome.

You want to contribute? Write to Marine:

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