What do we do at Global Voices Catalonia?


Global Voices Catalonia presentation at Pompeu Fabra University on 27 February 2013. Source: Veus del Món. Image used with permission.

On 27 February 2013, the Global Voices Online (GV) international community of bloggers presented its Catalan edition [ca] at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Global Voices includes over 700 writers and more than 600 translators, who work to ensure that the discussions and initiatives taking place in blogs and on social networks all over the world reach a global audience. The writers choose stories that are not widely covered by conventional media with the aim of spreading the voice of the people. Volunteer translators then provide articles in over 30 different languages, including Catalan.

GV's mission is to identify the most interesting discussions and initiatives on the web, defend freedom of expression and give citizens the opportunity to hear and be heard. “GV is like a scanner of everything that is published in blogs and discussed on social networks such as Twitter. Everything that exists on the Internet, that is reported, is material for GV”, said [ca] GV journalist, blogger and collaborator Joan Antoni Guerrero (@JoanAntoni70)[ca], interviewed by Veus del Món [ca], a blog created by a group of journalism students (Paula Solanas, Glòria Ribugent and Glòria Torrent) to cover the presentation.


Global Voices collaborators at the summit held in Nairobi (Kenya) in July 2012. Image used with permission.

From Catalonia to the world; from the world to Catalonia

The Catalan edition of GV left the beta phase towards the middle of 2012 and almost a year later it was a “bridge blog” between languages and cultures, providing the world with articles on Catalonia and reporting on what is happening in the blogosphere in Catalan. As Violeta Camarasa (@VioletaCamarasa), editor of Global Voices Catalonia, said in an interview with VilaWeb, “Global Voices can really help explain Catalonia to the world”. At the moment, its work has already caused waves in international media such as the Al Jazeera television channel, which dedicated a programme to the debate on independence (GV is mentioned in minutes 11.33 and 28.19), and the Washington Post newspaper, which echoed an article on the Cafè amb Llet [ca] case.

In an interview [ca] with the Veus del Món blog, Daniel Bogre Udell (@dbudell), a Catalanophile from New York who set up the Catalan version of GV and is the current co-editor, gives his opinion on the information about Catalonia that reaches the United States and rest of the world:

Crec que en aquest últim any ha canviat molt. Mitjans en llengua anglesa com The Guardian o el New York Times publiquen sobre Catalunya i la gent de fora l’està començant a reconèixer. Considero que la feina de Global Voices hi ha ajudat, perquè hem pogut influir en com GV publica sobre Espanya.

I think it's changed a lot in the last year. English language media such as The Guardian or the New York Times publish articles on Catalonia and people abroad are starting to recognise it. I believe that the work done by Global Voices has played a part because we've been able to influence how GV publishes articles on Spain.

At the moment, the Catalan edition has over 20 collaborators who write and/or translate articles, which the editors then revise to ensure a minimum level of linguistic and journalistic quality: a task that is considered complementary to that of traditional media. For this reason, the Catalan edition is establishing links with media such as the Diari Ara [ca], where its associated blog Veus Globals is published.

Why should I collaborate with Global Voices Catalonia?

Translating or writing for GV “is not only a mean of gaining experience”, as Esteve Mata, one of the co-editors, who was also interviewed [ca] on the Veus del Món blog, said. “It is a way of getting to know other cultures, other languages, other situations”. Translations allow us to break those language barriers and go further, paving the way so that everyone has access to firsthand information. Other collaborators interviewed [ca] by the same blog via Twitter, shared the same way of thinking:

Cristina Simón (@cristina_simn), journalist, writer and translator at GV:

Global Voices en català necessita més aportacions, està en continu creixement i crec que pot ser molt enriquidor col·laborar-hi […]. Pense que tenim l’opció de contar el que passa al nostre país des de la nostra perspectiva i en la nostra llengua i és genial. I pense que, els que parlem altres llengües, tenim a la nostra mà acostar els nostres lectors a realitats sovint llunyanes.

Global Voices in Catalan needs more input. It is constantly growing and I think becoming involved in it can be very enriching. I think we have the opportunity to explain what is happening in our country from our point of view and in our language and it's great. And I think that those of us who speak other languages have the possibility to transmit real events that are often distant to our readers.

Mireia Bel (@airem_gb), professional translator:

La traducció permet la comunicació entre comunitats de parles diferents […]. És important traduir al català, perquè és una bona manera de conservar la llengua i de difondre la llengua correcta. També és important explicar coses sobre Catalunya en altres llengües perquè així els altres països ens poden conéixer millor. El fet de traduir els articles del català a altres llengües també permet donar importància a la nostra llengua.

Translation enables communication between communities that speak different languages […]. It is important to translate into Catalan because it is a good way of preserving the language and transmitting the language correctly. It is also important to explain things about Catalonia in other languages because in that way other countries can get to know us better. The fact that articles in Catalan are translated into other languages also gives our language more importance.

After the presentation, there was a round table [ca] chaired by the editor of Global Voices Catalonia Violeta Camarasa, and attended by the head of digital content at El Periódico de Cataluña [ca] Saül Gordillo (@saulgordillo) [ca], expert in Internet journalism Sílvia Cobo (@silviacobo) [es] and member of the People Witness [es] streamer network Cristina Vaquer (@tinisima_). The participants debated the relation between blogs, social networks and ‘citizen journalism’ projects and traditional journalism.

The Veus del món blog (@VeusdelMon) contains all the information on the event. A list is provided below:

Interview with Violeta Camarasa [ca], editor.

Interview with Daniel Bogre Udell [ca], co-editor. The Catalanophile from New York who set up the Catalan edition of GV.

Interview with Cristina Simón [ca], writer, translator and editor.

Interview with Esteve Mata [ca], co-editor and translation coordinator.

Interview with Joan Antoni Guerrero [ca], writer.
Interview with Mireia Bel [ca], translator.
Interview with Paula Góes [ca], Multilingual Writing coordinator at GV.

Collection of comments from GV collaborators all over the world [ca].

Interview with Carles Singla [ca], Journalism director of studies at Pompeu Fabra University, who introduced and moderated the GV Catalonia round table presentation.

Chat with Saül Gordillo [ca], digital content manager at El Periódico de Catalunya and participant in the GV Catalonia round table presentation.

Chat with Cristina Vaquer [es], member of the People Witness streamer network and participant in the GV Catalonia round table presentation.

Chat with Sílvia Cobo [ca], independent journalist, blogger, Internet journalism expert and participant in the GV Catalonia round table presentation.


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