Translating the news
Perrin, Daniel; Ehrensberger-Dow, Maureen (2012). Translating the news: A globally relevant field for applied linguistics research. In: Christina Gitsaki; Richard Baldauf (Hg.). The future of applied linguistics.. Local and global perspectives. (352-372). Newcastle upon Tyne, England: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.
Globalization and media convergence have given rise to novel forms of news networks and markets in various languages all over the world; a diversity that poses increasing challenges for journalists and editors of foreign news. Although not educated as professional translators, journalists constantly work between languages during text production in the newsroom and therefore produce real life multilingualism. The question of interest in this chapter is what journalists do when their source materials are in different languages from the target language of their outgoing texts. More specifically, we explore whether institutionalized translation policies guide journalistic practices in such circumstances or whether journalists develop and rely on their own translation strategies. The methodology applied combines newsroom ethnography with in-depth analysis of writing processes, workplace conversations and interviews with media management. In this chapter, we draw on data from four television newsrooms in Switzerland, a highly multilingual country. Our findings indicate that translation is involved in every aspect of news production, including how journalists handle their source materials, their target texts, and their social environment. However, translation in the newsroom is based primarily on individuals’ implicit and tacit knowledge, not on explicit organizational knowledge. We conclude by suggesting how insights from this research can be generalized and contribute to increasing organizational knowledge of media companies.