Wednesday, February 09, 2005 - English translations of foreign-language press about the US

It's not convenient or pleasant to use yet, being about a month old and staffed by a handful of resource-stretched people, but proposes to be a new news site that collates English translations of foreign press regarding the United States.

I hope to see clearer, more decipherable-at-a-glance date > region > country > topic organization, with articles on the same event linked to each other (to travel an event's reception around the globe.)

I also hope they'll furnish more information about the news sources they are translating from for English-speaking edification: the rough readership numbers, the ideology of the paper, maybe a sketch of that news source's influence, etc.

The two founders of the site — Robin Kerner (?) and Will Sssomeone — intend to refine it in the coming months; for now, at least you can mine human-translated articles from Jordan, Venezuela, Syria, Turkey, Germany, France (&c.) out of their home page.

(Listen to Robin discuss on KPCC's Air Talk with Larry Mantle, February 9th, last quarter of program)


At 12:22 AM, Anonymous

Thanks for the heads up on this one...
but give 'em a break. I mean one click to translations of all this can't-find-anywhere-else content about US, is about as easy to use as it gets...

I think I get what you mean about structuring their content, but they seem to be updating it so regularly, that i think they are better off keeping that one-click convenience rather than making you go through menus to get to the stuff. Isn't that what makes Drudge et al. so successful???? Just my opinion...

At 12:55 AM, Julie

Well, it is because I think it is such a great idea that I look forward to the development. (And hope for an improved interface.)

I am deeply impressed by what seems to be a real committment to journalistic integrity as far as representing a spectrum of political opinions.

I'm not thinking of throwing menus in the user's path at all; my favorite (non-translated, of course) news collation is Google's news interface. It's hard to compare it to Drudge — Drudge is just spraying the immediate scoops up any which way, whereas Google has improvements such as articles reporting on like events grouped together, and sortable in a number of ways. (No menus.)

At any rate, I know the people working on WatchingAmerica are working hard to grow it, and although I can't help griping about the interface (since it's what I design) I was very excited to learn of the site at all, Anonymous. :)

At 2:46 AM, Anonymous

They must have heard you - they got a "donate" button up there now... I think we should give them something for encouragement! $$$

Listened to the interview. Do they have any idea of how many visits they need to get enough cash to be able to devote themselves to this for 12 hours a day, like Robin said they did in the interview?!? They really must be idealists ;-) Good for them, though...

At 9:15 PM, Aristotle

Completely off-topic, I see Blogger lets people sign their posts now without needing a Blogger account. Just need to pick “Other” on the comment form and it lets you put a name and a URL.

At 12:08 PM, Julie

Aristotle: yep, blogger improved the commenting system a few days ago. It's not too bad.

Glad to hear you're accepting donations now, Anonymous! I just kicked in my share.

Er, "they're."


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