Posted on 30 April 2013.
This investigative project ran in Spanish online, with a “Read in English” link underneath the photo of a Mexican informant.
The New York Times on Monday published an investigative project in both English and Spanish.
“A Drug War Informer in No Man’s Land,” about a former Mexican police chief turned DEA informant abandoned by the U.S. government after he provided information that linked Mexico’s military to drug cartels, ran in yesterday’s print and online editions.
“Un Informante de la Guerra Contra el Narcotráfico en Tierra de Nadie,” only ran online, but it marks a first for the NYT.
Investigations editor Christine Kay came up with the idea. “I was surprised the paper had never run a story in Spanish prior to this,” she says.
“Ginger Thompson’s stories on Latin America often are translated and run on the front pages of papers there. So we thought, why not provide a Spanish-language version of her story and drive readers to our own site instead. We are interested to see how much traffic the Spanish version gets.
She points out that “the story was only published in Spanish on the web, where the vast majority of our readers outside the United States access the paper,” but that the NYT hoped “Spanish-speaking residents in this country would benefit by the translation.”
Correction 5/2/13: When this story was published on Tuesday, it stated that it was “the first time in its history” that the NYT published a story in Spanish. That was the investigation editor’s belief.
In the English version that ran online, a “Leer en Español” link allows readers to view the Spanish version of the investigative story.
Today, a corporate spokesperson for the NYT wrote to say that “A Drug War Informer in No Man’s Land,” was “not the first time The Times has published a story in the Spanish language.”
In an email statement, Stephanie Yera wrote: “The New York Times has published stories in Spanish on NYTimes.com for some time, either in conjunction with special projects or because it has simply made sense editorially. Stories are published in the Spanish language via The New York Times News Service & Syndicate or translated into Spanish, and translators are credited at the end of our articles.”
She also writes that they’ve also included stories in Portuguese and Chinese and cited the following 3 stories published in Spanish on NYTimes.com:
A story by Ginger Thompson, with Randal Archibold and Eric Schmitt (translators are named at the bottom of the article), on U.S. involvement in hindering the rise of Mexican General Moisés García Ochoa, from Feb. 2013:
A July 2012 story on marijuana trafficking in Uruguay by Damien Cave:
A 2011 series on immigration by Damien Cave: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/world/americas/immigration-en-espanol.html.