“How are the things we’re talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world?”[1] That is the question NPR correspondent Gregory Warner aims to answer in his new podcast Rough Translation. From the Russian info-wars in the Ukraine to race in Brazil, Rough Translation “follows familiar discussions into unfamiliar territory.”[2]

‘But how do they do that?’, you might be asking yourself. Well to give you an example, the pilot episode looked at Brazil’s interesting view on race- or should I say “blackness”. In an attempt to diversify the Brazilian workforce, the government has put in place a panel of judges to assess whether or not you are “black enough” to qualify for the program, based on the darkness of your skin tone and the curliness of your hair. A rather curious strategy to combat the issue of (you guessed it) racism!

Looking at the issue of race from the Brazilian perspective, Rough Translation answers the concerns put forth by John Galtung and Mari Holmboe in The Structure of Foreign News[3] by providing an alternative ‘echo chamber’ to Western media. According to Galtung, Western media shies away from culturally diverse narratives that do not adhere to its ethnocentric frequency, creating a distorted worldview. Warner’s Rough Translation is a clear counter effort against this type of ‘media isolationism’


[1] Warner, Gregory. “Rough Translation.” NPR, www.npr.org/podcasts/510324/rough-translation.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Galtung, Johan and Mari Holmboe Ruge. “The Structure of Foreign News” Journal of Peace Research 2.1 (1965): 64-91. Print.

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