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Public sector interpreting – why local journalists are so important

Public sector interpreting is a huge sector, and public sector interpreters offer a vital service in many environments, from courts to hospitals and many other institutions.

However, it is easy to forget about individuals like local journalists, who do a great job in interpreting breaking news from such places and relaying it to us, the general public.

The role they play in keeping us informed and updated means they are incredibly important to the public as a whole, and very much like public sector interpreters, local journalists do not always get the recognition their efforts deserve.

Regardless of the growth of social media and ‘citizen journalism’, dissemination and interpretation of the local news stories is still vital to any given area, ensuring that sales of your local print publication remain high due to our society’s desire to be ‘in the know’.

Things have changed dramatically in the public sector in recent decades. Local councils now publish income and expenditure, advancements in technology mean committee meetings can now be transmitted via webcasts, and agendas and reports etc. are now published online – making them easily accessible once in the public domain.

Meanwhile, local people and residents of any given area have the ability to take to social networks, blogs, forums and the like in order to express their views, discuss hot local topics, and report latest news to others.

This is where top local reporters and journalist come in. They are the real interpreters of this information, carefully and professionally dissecting a wide range of views on various matters, whilst getting to the heart of people’s concerns and posing the right questions to the public.

There remains a great deal of trust between a local paper and its readership, much more so than national publications due to issues that have been widely publicised, such as the Leveson Inquiry. Therefore, the names, and often the faces, of local reporters become familiar to many, and the public generally see them as the main interpreters of news and views in our region.

Newspaper outlets and agencies, even on a local scale, almost always insist that the journalists they recruit are National College for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) qualified, with Media Law – including knowledge of defamation, court reporting and ethics etc. – being an integral area that local reporters must be well versed and have passed written examinations in.

Just like the professional public sector interpreters we provide, local journalists are fully qualified and multi-skilled, meaning they offer a superb service to the public each and every day.

What are your views on public sector interpreting, and do you agree that your local reporters play an important role in interpreting news and views in your area?

To find out more about Lingua Translations’ public sector interpreting services, click here.


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About Sharon Stephens

Sharon Stephens is Operations Director of Lingua Translation. With a First Class Honours Degree in Translation and a University Lecturer in Translation (Masters), she is a self confessed language geek! Bringing the academic principles of translation and business together Sharon offers a quality-driven and needs centric translation and interpreting service - like no other.

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