Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Media singularity

While interpreters in Spain risk being taken for actors (previous post), their translator colleagues seem to get mixed up with journalists. The story that a German women's magazine is to stop using anorexic models appears thus in Spanish daily El País:
Brigitte, la revista femenina más popular en Alemania, ha anunciado que, el año que viene, sustituirá a las modelos profesionales por mujeres "reales, de talla normal" en sus páginas, con el fin de dejar de promover la delgadez extrema como canon de belleza, según informa el diario británico The Guardian
You could understand the story being filtered through the Guardian if it were otherwise inaccessible - a world exclusive or some incestuously British matter. But the original source was, unsurprisingly, a press conference in Germany.

So here we have a leading national newspaper of a major country not reporting directly - even on a quintessentially media event - but simply translating what appears in another newspaper.

The saving grace for El País is that at least it is open about this (not so others, the BBC in particular).

It is a further example though that while the number of news sources has ostensibly grown, the number of independent perspectives seems to have dwindled. Our news media have become unhealthily thin!

They might usefully take a leaf from the glossies and drop this dangerously anorexic model in favour of something more authentic.

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