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Bursting The Bubble: Working for Buenos Aires’ Most Popular Ex-Pat News Source

October 08, 2015
by CEA CAPA Content Creator
 Entrance to Infobae/The Bubble

Owing to its status as a global city, and one of the biggest in South America, Buenos Aires has a rather large English-speaking expatriate population. And with a large English-speaking expatriate population, you can expect a great need for an English-language based news source. The company that I am interning for this fall, The Bubble, is that news source. The Bubble, as it is so cleverly called, is an entirely-online media news site devoted to covering the varied aspects of Argentine culture and current events in a more Anglo-friendly language (almost exclusively English though, and never Scots). Topics covered include sports, politics, economy, pop culture, entertainment and local events, Pope Francis-related content, and much more. It was founded in May 2013 by Adrian Bono, who was at the time an editor for the Buenos Aires Herald and noticed a need among his English-speaking friends to catch up on the news, which at the time was hard to find. The name comes from this sort of expatriate “bubble” that existed within the city, in that it was difficult to burst through this bubble and be aware and feel connected to the city and the country at large. The Bubble was created for this explicit purpose, to bridge the language-gap inherent with living, studying, and/or working in a foreign country, and from what I can tell, the efforts have been very successful. The Bubble shares an office with the larger Infobae (pronounced like “bay,” instead of like that slang term that annoys me. You know the one.) network, including desks, computers, and a pretty swank break room with a free coffee machine that I constantly use for its hot chocolate (by big-people business-running standards, this means they’re doing very well).
 The most satisfying part of my day is when this MVP lets me know the hot chocolate's ready.

This fall’s team includes seven other interns, two from Argentina, three from the United Kingdom, and two others from the US like myself. As is a requirement to be able to read news in Spanish and write articles in English, every staff member is bilingual, leading to a pretty fair mix of Spanglish fun in an office setting. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it’s entertaining enough to be an Argentine version of The Office, but it was the place where my friend and fellow intern abroad Jordan first learned that FIFA is more than just a video game. The work environment, despite its hectic nature since it is a newsroom and all, is fairly pleasant, thanks in no small part to the way it is run. Mr. Bono, who’s only about thirty-something-or-other, maintains a hands-on approach to the work in order to be thought of as a leader rather than a boss, as an example to follow for any prospective business-starters instead of a distant, shadowy authority figure that you as the employee must answer to and live to please. The word “workroom” has taken on a different connotation for me ever since the start of my tenure here, as the environment provided by The Bubble is amiable and the work more learning-oriented than quota-filling. This may be in part because my job as the team’s graphic designer is slower-paced than writing articles and keeping the people in the expat bubble updated on what’s going on around them, but it’s still an incredibly neat niche to be filling while studying in said city, and more or less in said bubble.

Kevin Cecil is the Fall 2015 CEA MOJO Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is currently a Sophomore at the University of Miami.

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