Day 1 Lightning Talks: Catalyzing bilingual collaboration through translation with the NJ News Commons Spanish Translation News Service
3:07PM Jun 20, 2023
spanish language media
So let's get going already. Are you ready? Let's do this. Oni Advincula from the Center.
Hi everyone. My lightning talk today is about collaboration through a Spanish translation new service in New Jersey. Since I have only five minutes, I will get straight to the point so you won't get lost in translation. In New Jersey, where Latinos are about 22% of the state's population, news deserts still exist in the Spanish speaking community. Is it surprising? Maybe, or maybe not. Since many online tools related to prevention and emergency services, school health and legal systems, or even basic access to government news and information are only or mostly available in English. Many Latinos especially new immigrants in the state, have limited access to first hand sources in Spanish and face the real challenges of overcoming misinformation.
And since the major English language or mainstream media outlets, which mostly have more resources, and much bigger operations than their Spanish language counterparts, rarely translate stories, if any, that also compounds this challenges. Most Spanish language news organizations in New Jersey often do not have the staff to cover the state capitol, or statewide breaking news that affects all New Jerseyans member would think we're talking about the whole statement just one particular city.
Because of this language barriers, many Latinos in New Jersey have been trusted to the bottom of the information chain. In order to address this divide and mitigate the negative impact in the community. The Center for Cooperative Media launched last year, the New Jersey News Commons Spanish translation service over the last 10 months, I've been spending at least 15 minute 15% of my time on this project, working tirelessly to make statewide reporting available and accessible to news organizations that serve Spanish speaking communities in the state. The center has brought together the largest Spanish Language and English language media outlets in the states to share news content specially Breaking News, Coverage of the environment, elections related content and voter information by translating articles into Spanish. And through this translation. This Resource Exchange allows Spanish language publications to get news to their audiences scuze me that otherwise they might not have been able to share. It also fills the vital gaps in local news. The mainstream news outlet partners include nj.com, which is owned by owns the star ledger northjersey.com Asbury Park Press the press of Atlantic City, NJ spotlight and the Spanish language media partners in the state include report this panel, americano newspaper, cutter radio that serves farmworkers in Vineland, New Jersey. Very interesting. front runner, New Jersey, the Latina spirit and New Jersey hispana. How does this translation project work? Every week, the center slacks about six stories published by the mainstream media partners and they get translated into Spanish and we make them available to the Spanish language media partners. But both the mainstream or the English language and the Spanish language media partners, republish the translated stories. We have selected editors and reporters who work or freelance for major Spanish news organizations to serve as translators. There's a reason for that. In addition to accurate translation, this helps ensure that the stories would run in their publications so they are already insiders. Since the New Jersey translation service started in August 2020 to about 150 new stories and opinion piece pieces have been translated into Spanish and about 400 stories have been republished in both the English and Spanish language publication shins in New Jersey. This means that on a weekly basis, on average, about 12 stories were published or republished in those language sites. If all the partner news organizations get 50,000 clicks a day, for example, that just their online addition, that's about half a million views combined, or roughly 3.5 million clicks a week, that number would be much higher if subscribers to and readers of their print edition are added. So ranging from breaking news to investigative reporting and from local neighborhoods and remote communities to the state capitol and coastal areas of the state. These translated stories focus on issues that matter to more than 2 million Latinos in the state. An estimated 70% of them speak or read Spanish at home, including but not limited to immigration, education, health, LGBTQ politics, government and the environment issues. So the number of partners increased over time, so that means it's a big hit. When the project first started, there were only three English and for Spanish language partners as of May 2023. Partners now consists of six, five and six English and Spanish language news organizations respectively. Recently, three more English language publications and radio stations, including WNYC in New Jersey monitor have expressed interest in joining the project. So in general, this project has created partnerships among news organizations who had not worked together closely before. Two of the English language publications have begun running Spanish language content, which they had never done before. I only have 20 seconds, and one of them as a result created a landing page where it posted all's stories translated. The English language media partners have also been able to expand the reach of their audiences, the Spanish speaking communities, we predict down the road this news partnerships and news content opportunities will result in more diverse and better informed audiences. Thank you very much.