Julia, what is youth-time.eu about? What does YT wish to achieve through this project?
With this new media project, we wanted to create a platform that would allow young people to receive objective information, in the most global sense of the word. I think that to this end we have a huge competitive advantage; YT has journalists from different corners of the world, the participants of the YT movement, who practically extend across the entire globe. We intend to use these resources to create an open media platform. Users of www.youth-time.eu will have access to real information from real people actually living in the places that are being referred to in any given article. This project is out of government or any other authorities influence. Moreover, we plan to soon launch a large blogging platform giving the opportunity to anyone who so wishes to run a blog within the framework of youth-time.eu. This in my opinion will allow young people in different countries to integrate even more and to increase the level of objectivity in the information received. But it is not being done for any one specific region or country. This global alternative media, therein lies its uniqueness.
YT already has a media project: the print magazine. Will the web media platform and the magazine be separate or integrated projects?
Definitely integrated. The basic content of the site is the magazine. But in the process of development we will of course increase the proportion of original content. It already has some but, for now, it’s only to a lesser degree. A newsfeed will appear displaying not only YT news but also international news about young people. We will put out different language versions of the magazine, however, these versions won’t be printed, but circulated in digital format, and so access to them will be open via youth-time.eu and our mobile apps. In short, there will be close coordination between the two projects but they will nevertheless be different.
Who are the potential users of youth-time.eu?
Young people. Young people who work on their personal development. Passionate, talented, active, industrious, thinking young people. By the word ‘young’ I mean students, young specialists, activists of the youth movements. As the magazine’s experience has shown, maybe even the older person might find something useful. But here I should note that even with the magazine, we are not pursuing sky-high ratings. We are not the yellow press. For us the main thing is the quality of the audience, not the quantity. Here you’ll find something to read, something to think about, something to watch. For fun in its primitive sense – that’s not our bag.
You said that the degree of unique content will increase. Spill the beans. What are the most immediate plans?
We will present the audience with a wide video content. It’s from the entire span of the YT movement’s activity. In five years we have gathered a large collection, and it’s the same with the photo content. I have good news for anyone who’s ever participated in the activities of YT and who know that for every event there’s a great souvenir item; you will now be able to officially purchase it. It’s especially for this that we are opening the e-shop. I’ve already spoken about the blog platform and newsroom. That’s perhaps everything regarding our most immediate plans. Regarding plans for the long-term – well, I’ll speak about some time in the New Year!
As members of the movement, YT veterans will be able to get involved in the new project. Is there more they will be able to do besides producing content, writing articles and news, and blogging?
They will be able to communicate with us more actively, by commenting, reposting, spreading out. Everything we create, we create for them first and foremost. We don’t want to dictate to policy. It is to them that we want to be relevant and interesting. Their contribution is in the extent to which they are actively involved in commentary, which enables us to form a correct agenda for our media projects. I’m urging every participant of the YT movement to actively get involved in the work of youth-time.eu. Together we can create something really worthwhile.
At the end of October there was a meeting of YT ambassadors in Bordeaux. Tell us briefly, what the movement’s most active members achieved there and what YT can expect in the future.
Key decisions were made at the meeting in Bordeaux. We defined our place amongst the other youth NGOs that exist in the world today. We had a look at our mission, defined in 2010, with fresh eyes, adapted it to the current situation and determined which direction we needed to move in in the next two or three years. We will continue with the main direction of our work; we will support, unify and help to promote the points of view of active, talented young people, who want to make a contribution to the development of society, and who really want to make their own future themselves and to be part of the world, not nominally, but truly. How are we going to do this? Besides our traditional training sessions (the summer school) and project competitions (the Rhodes Forum), we – I can now officially announce – will start spreading to different regions. We have chosen from the veterans of the movement, 14 YT ambassadors, who will set up their own activity in the movement in their own countries, in their own regions. Each of them has their own local issues which they can spend three months on. Right now we have found very strong and worthy representatives in India, Nepal, Greece, France, Austria and the Balkans. So you can safely expect the appearance of YT in your own region.