a curious Yankee in Europe's court

blog about living in Europe, and Italy

The Russian people and the NY Times have a chat

Posted on the February 25th, 2008

Yesterday, the ways and means President Vladimir Putin uses to govern Russia was the subject of a New York Times article (“Putin’s Iron Grip on Russia Suffocates Opponents” by Clifford J. Levy, Feb 24, 2008). The piece, including quotes from several Russians interviewed, offers a glimpse into Russia’s inner world these days.

Equally or, perhaps, of even greater interest is that the NY Times editors decided to translate their article into Russian and post it, according to the Times, on Russia’s most popular blogging website, www.livejournal.ru. The Times editors also solicited comments about the article from the blog platform’s Russian readers.

So what happened?

Today, a follow-up article ran in the NY Times, analyzing the Russian public’s response (“An Article Brings Sharp Responses From Russians” by Clifford J. Levy, Feb 25, 2008). The talkback was sizable, spirited and varied. By the end of yesterday, almost 3,000 comments had been logged in, the Times editors reported:

“The Moscow bureau of The Times reviewed the comments in Russian and translated scores that were representative of the strains of opinion on the site. The translations in English were then posted in the comments section that accompanied the article on www.nytimes.com.”

The primary motivation behind the Times editors asking translators to do all this back and forth translating between English and Russian, they said, was “to give readers a better feel for Russian opinion.”

UPDATE: Questo post in italiano


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A Russian take on Super Tuesday

Posted on the February 5th, 2008

Starting off my day, as I usually do, with a quick visit to news.google.com to see the latest headlines, today I clicked on a video from Russia Today about Super Tuesday. The video (below) recaps what’s happening in the race for the White House. It includes short commentary from some U.S. political reporters, some campaign footage, candidate info and general trivia about the election.

Russia Today, if you don’t know about it, is a Russian news channel in English (also online). It offers round-the-clock coverage by a team of 700 — Russian and foreign journalists and support staff — on what’s happening in Russia and across the globe, according to the website. The channel has been broadcasting since 2005, it reports, and is run by the Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.

The news channel also has its own YouTube page here.

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