Lost in Translation

This week it was revealed that eight reporters and 29 freelancers for The Miami Herald's Spanish-language spinoff, El Nuevo Herald, got money for appearing on the U.S. government-owned Radio and TV Marti networks, which broadcasts out of Miami and into Cuba. That the Herald let some of its reporters get paid for spreading anti-Castro messages into Cuba became rather big news in Miami: Some of the journalists were fired, then they were reinstated, and this week it was announced Jes�s D�az Jr., president of The Miami Herald Media Co. and publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, resigned over the whole mess.

This morning, there's an Associated Press story that insists the controversy over these ethical breaches "highlights broader challenges facing media companies that seek to publish Spanish-language newspapers in major U.S. media markets." One of those papers is Belo's own Al Dia, whose editor and president, Gilbert Bailon, addressed some of those issues with the AP:

"'The Spanish-language daily papers in the United States by and large adhere to the standards of the English dailies,' said Gilbert Bailon, president and editor of Al Dia, the Spanish-language sibling of Belo Corp.'s The Dallas Morning News. 'But I do think where you have some conflicts is that we all import people from other countries to work in newspapers.'

Journalists trained there may be unaware of government open records policies, making them more likely to use less reliable or anonymous sources.

'That doesn't mean they are unethical, it just means they may not have the same training,' Bailon said."

--Robert Wilonsky

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky