From articles on study abroad to features about Saudi Arabian scholarship cuts, international diversity has been the trend of late on the pages of the East Tennessean, and it is that trend that has driven the newspaper’s editorial board to launch something quite revolutionary.
Starting in March, the East Tennessean will be hiring a group of international students to write in their native languages for its new blog, East Tennessean International.
“It’s been very important to me this year to try to expand the newspaper’s coverage to encompass as many segments of student life as possible,” Executive Editor Jessica Brown said. “Historically, international students have been under-represented in the East Tennessean. This is merely the latest way we’re trying to rectify that problem.”
The newspaper is looking for native speakers of Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, Arabic, etc. who are interested in participating in an online dialogue about their experiences as international students studying in the United States.
“We really wanted to create a venue through which local and international students could have a dialogue about diversity,” Brown said. “All of the blog posts will appear in the writer’s native language and in English, thus allowing international students to educate students from the United States about studying outside of their home countries.”
For the inaugural East Tennessean International staff, the publication is planning on hiring one editor for each of the above-designated languages, as well as three or four bloggers per language.
Each participant will be responsible for writing one story in his or her native language each week and translating it as best he or she can into English.
“As with anything, practice makes perfect,” Brown said. “This is a great opportunity — one of the few on campus — for students to gain much-needed experience in writing in their native language while studying in Tennessee.”
The publication’s goal in creating this new opportunity for international students is to provide a foundation for students of diverse cultures and languages to be able to come together in one space to share ideas, promote cultural awareness and create a dialogue between the various languages.
Interested students should email a writing sample in their native tongue and English translation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We really want to open this opportunity up to all international students,” Brown said. “So, if you’re interested, we’d love to hear from you and try to find some way for you to become involved.”