Reflecting a number of changing realities in Brazil, one of the country's largest newspapers is looking to expand readership of its international section, with Brazilian news stories translated into English and Spanish. Increasingly, more and more Brazilian news is appearing in the international media, along with new English-language Brazil news sources. With the economy humming along--if not growing at previous rates--and large numbers of skilled jobs that need filling, Spanish and Portuguese professionals are flocking to Brazil. María Martín is the embodiment of these trends. Born in Alicante, this Spanish journalist now works as an editor at Folha Internacional, which was launched in July 2011. She moved to São Paulo from Madrid just a year ago, and chooses, translates, and edits web content for Folha Internacional. With native English and Spanish speakers on staff, Folha aims to reach an international audience interested in what's happening in Brazil. I asked María about Folha Internacional via email, along with her move to Brazil.
You've worked as a journalist in Spain. What brought you to Brazil?
Since I graduated five years ago, I have practiced journalism. I was trained at El País newspaper and I got hooked on the profession. Unfortunately, the situation in Spain is not conducive to most people's professional expectations right now, and in this business, much less. Why Brazil? For some time, the news about the “economic giant of Latin America” reached Europe and I was interested in coming here, but I had no idea how I was going to make a living. It was tough: I did not speak a word of Portuguese and I didn't know anything about the culture. But I've always had the support of my sister, who I live with, and Brazilians are very welcoming.
Who is the intended readership for Folha International? Is all of the content translated from Portuguese, or do you have original pieces written specifically for Folha Internacional?
Our audience is the reader anywhere in the world with any interest in Brazil. Each day, we select the most important or interesting issues published by the newspaper and offer their translations for free. We still do not have articles written specifically for Folha Internacional, but it is an option that we haven't ruled out.
What's Folha's goal in launching these two sites?
The goal is not to limit, as a matter of language, the content of Folha, the most influential newspaper in Brazil. In general, sporting events, the economy, culture, and football are catching everyone's eye. Although the international media is responsible for informing their readers, Folha has more structure that allows it to publish great scoops, and has local journalists covering the information. The subjects are also chosen taking the reader into consideration, and edited for some specific references that can be understood by anyone who does not know the local terminology.
What advantages does Folha have over other English-language news sources that cover Brazil?
The foreign correspondent always has a different view than the local media and one that is more interesting to his readers--that is undeniable--but his infrastructure is limited: only one person covering a country of 190 million people. Folha is the largest newspaper in Brazil and covers many topics exclusively and invests a lot of work in original approaches. Also, the Folha Internacional site has free and unlimited access, while the most other online content out there is under a paywall system.
Image: Courtesy of María Martín.