Glendale News-Press: Now in Armenian

a screencap of the front page of the online version of the Glendale News-Press, now in Armenian

With Armenians making up almost 30 percent of Glendale’s population according to the 2000 U.S. Census, many of them recent immigrants, Times Community Editor Dan Evans wanted to offer something more to the community. So when Google Translate added Armenian to its impressive language lineup, he jumped at the chance to give it a try – adding a widget on the homepage of the Glendale News-Press, translating all the Glendale news that’s fit to print to Armenian in seconds.

“It was fairly spur of the moment,” said Evans, in an email interview. “We launched a new platform for our website this month, and we’re still playing around with different things, seeing what works and what doesn’t.”

Evans, who also oversees the Burbank Leader and Crescenta Valley Sun newspapers, both part of Los Angeles Times Community News along with the News-Press wanted to offer the translation widget as a means of reaching out Armenians in Glendale and bridging them to their local paper, which has an estimated 73,000 readership.

“I’ve heard many people say the paper is not particularly useful to them, or that we only focus on crimes committed by Armenians,” he said. “Putting the translation widget on our site is a small step, but one I hope leads to more conversation on how the paper can better serve the Armenian community.”

The paper has recently published  a few Armenian related stories, including one about the Verdugo Views Theater, built by M.G Khodigian, who left Armenia in 1900 to settle in Glendale and another on Glendale’s crop of Armenian boxers.

The News-Press also published coverage of the Armenian Festival, which celebrated the Armenian Relief Society’s centennial anniversary, written by yours truly.

The translation feature has received positive response, although their hasn’t been too much reaction according to Evans.

“The short answer is that I’m still learning,” he said. “I hope that by placing the translation widget on the website, I can help spark a conversation.”

The News-Press might be the first English-language newspaper to utilize the Armenian translation widget, but Evan definitely recommends community newspapers whose readership includes a particular ethnic group to try it out.



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