The Linguist

The Linguist 53,4

The Linguist is a languages magazine for professional linguists, translators, interpreters, language professionals, language teachers, trainers, students and academics with articles on translation, interpreting, business, government, technology

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12 The Linguist AUGUST/SEPTEMBER RUSSIAN IN THE UK MULTIPLE APPROACHES The team in Moscow (left) and the newsroom (above right) Ilaria Parogni explains the challenges of delivering Russian news stories to 26 countries in 16 languages A s the world sees events unfolding in Ukraine and the media scrutinise the Kremlin's moves, there is little coverage in the UK dedicated to Russia itself. Russia seems to be an awkward topic that is difficult for outsiders to grasp but, since 2007, Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) has been trying to change that. Partly financed by the Russian state-owned daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the multilingual news agency is run by an independent team, based in Moscow, which collaborates with journalists and professionals from around the world. It is an ambitious project, working in 26 countries and 16 working languages, with publications in 22 international newspapers and on 18 websites. Working across time zones, communicating in different languages and catering to the ever- changing preferences of different audiences have been defining characteristics of RBTH since its early beginnings. And this year, the organisation was given a new challenge when it became the official media partner for the UK-Russia Year of Culture – a year-long initiative that sees a busy calendar of cultural events taking place in Russia and the UK. The aim is to increase mutual understanding and, in February, RBTH launched The Kompass, an official guide to events in the UK, which I edit ( Primarily coordinated by a small London-based staff, it features "all things Russian in the UK", including reviews, listings and interviews. Diversity in the newsroom The Moscow newsroom has changed a lot over the years, due to continuous collaboration between the Russian team and professionals from other countries. Producing print supplements for distribution in major international newspapers means that the team benefits from the expertise of partners with a wealth of media experience, who have given advice on how to deliver high-quality content to our readers. The reliance on a network of freelance writers and guest editors, based in the countries RBTH publishes in, allows for a continuous flow of information. This enables the team in Moscow to create material that is better tailored to the audiences it aims to reach. In the newsroom, Russian editors work side-by-side with native-speaking editors for each overseas publication. The result is a multitude of editorial approaches: more analysis and background stories for the American website; more news in Serbia; a focus on arms and defence for India and Brazil; Russian history for British readers; and figure-skating for the Japanese! That is the fun part of working for a truly international platform – at times you might be able to guess what a certain audience will enjoy reading about, but there are always surprises. My Russian colleagues still can't figure out why stories about bears stealing borscht from tourist sites are so popular among our American readers! Building a reputation The continuous exchange between Russian and foreign professionals is vital for RBTH, while also giving the organisation one of its greatest challenges: the clash between often diametrically opposite methods of journalism. Spreading the news

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