Stroud column: PI.com en Espanol, and a shift in my editor role
A couple of things maybe jumped out at Post Independent readers this past week, one involving a new online feature and the other a classified display ad, which also is listed online.
First, you may have seen the ad seeking a new Post Independent editor and wondered what’s up with Stroud — or maybe not.
In any case, yes, after nearly a year-and-a-half in this position, I am taking a “step back” in the profession I’ve chosen for my life’s pursuit.
But I’m not going anywhere.
In addition to the chief editor’s position, we are creating a managing editor/senior reporter position. This is the role I will be moving into come mid-August.
As much as I’ve enjoyed being the lead editor of your community newspaper, I’ve come to the realization that my true passion is reporting, writing and telling stories about the people and organizations that give heart to our local communities.
This new position will allow me to write on a regular basis again, with a focus on business and education, while also helping lead the newsroom and our other reporters as more of an on-the-floor editor.
I look forward to getting back into the community — and out of the office — in this new role, from which I will also be working to build the Tuesday Business and Thursday Education sections of the Post Independent.
If you have any ideas on how to improve these or any other sections of the newspaper, please continue to provide feedback, as many of you do already.
We continue to hear from readers who say they enjoy and appreciate what we are doing with the Post Independent these days, which is ever-evolving as we strive to connect with more readers and remain relevant.
Which brings me to another new Post Independent feature and our online announcement last week — in Spanish — that all stories posted to our website [postindependent.com] can now be converted to Spanish with one click of the mouse.
Many thanks to our digital engagement editor, Natuza Olen, for moving this project forward. It has been a long time coming, and is just another way that we, as the information source for Garfield County, can provide useful news and information to even more of the people who live here.
To preface, I must point out that this is a work in progress and we will continue to make improvements to this new bilingual feature.
The automated translation plugin that we are now using is anything but perfect. It tends to jumble words, making for improper Spanish sentence structure, and it randomly translates people’s names and other proper nouns.
But it’s a start, and is in recognition that there’s a large segment of our population that we can be informing more effectively.
According to the most-recent demographic data, close to 30 percent of Garfield County’s population is of Hispanic or Latino origin — Hispanic meaning of Spanish-speaking descent, whether that’s Mexico, Argentina or Spain; and Latino being specifically of Latin American descent, so anyone coming from south of the U.S.-Mexican border.
Likewise, a growing number of local businesses throughout the region are owned by Hispanic entrepreneurs.
A good portion of this population is perfectly fine reading our stories in English, and in many cases Spanish isn’t even their first language.
But for those who want to read what we offer in Spanish — or maybe brush up on their own bilingual skills — this is just another way to do it. Call it learning.
More importantly, it provides at least the option for those among us who do speak and read Spanish as their first language to obtain news and important emergency information in a timely manner.
To read the postindependent.com in Spanish, just click on the tab that says “Spanish” in the upper right-hand corner of our home page.
We also hope this will be the beginning of other new language features to come, including a possible Spanish-language e-newsletter and possibly some select stories translated into Spanish for print.
John Stroud is editor of the Post Independent.
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Intro: Brisa Chavez is lead educator and Hispanic engagement coordinator for Garfield County’s Public Health Services.