Multilingual journalism offers a broader perspective, attracts a more diverse audience and gives writers a unique opportunity to grow. As a staff this year, Culture has the goal of starting regular multilingual coverage after our assistant editor, Alyssa Cruz, investigated the lack of bilingual journalism opportunities at Ohio University last spring. Coming into this year as new editors, this was a top priority to accomplish. There is so much to be gained from generating content that can be consumed by more than just an English-speaking population.
When writers and sources are able to converse in their preferred language, there is a broader understanding of the nuances involved. Multilingual coverage also provides writers with an opportunity to broaden their linguistic understanding and practice writing in a different format. Translating is not as simple as directly changing the words, and communicating significance across languages is a difficult skill. Having so many talented staff members who are able to make these translations happen is something we are so grateful for.
Already this semester, we have been lucky to work with a number of bilingual students, many of whom are international. There can be some apprehension in joining a monolingual publication for students whose first language is not the one primarily used by that news outlet. By providing an outlet for students to write in their native language, we have been fortunate to collaborate with students who we may not have worked with otherwise.
Already, publishing in multiple languages has opened new doors for us as a section. We are now in the beginning stages of a collaboration with the OU Translation Club, allowing our members to branch outside of the newsroom. So far, we’ve also had the privilege to publish four multilingual stories, including one story that was translated into four total languages.
We are working hard to establish a foundation so that multilingual coverage can hopefully be a part of the culture section for years to come. Our fantastic digital director, Jack Hiltner, has been instrumental in this process, personally coding each multilingual story so readers can easily switch between languages.
We are so excited to see what this year will bring, and we are so grateful to our talented writers and translators. We encourage any students who would be interested in writing or translating to reach out to us, and make sure to keep a look out for lots of multilingual coverage at The Post.