I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge fan of newspapers. I still scan a few 2–3 times a week, but most of the news lately is either a rehash of a popular story, poorly written, or totally irrelevant to me. So, I’ve developed a few tricks to keeping up on the news while minimizing discomfort. My best advice if you feel the same about it:
- If you aren’t already a member of your industry association, join it. I don’t just mean the translator associations, either. For instance, legal translators should consider joining the American Bar Association and perhaps the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, in addition to the American Translators Association.
- Sign up for a few mailing lists (or a few dozen). Do you have an ideal client in mind? Find the RSS feed button on their website or submit your email address to receive their newsletter. Is there a particular country you want to focus on? Visit their embassy website and ask to receive news about events, speeches, etc. Even if 80% of the briefs they send aren’t relevant to you, it’s a good way to keep your eye on what they think is important. It’s always easy to unsubscribe later.
- Follow targeted news sites or specialists in the field on Twitter. They generally just use their accounts to post headlines one at a time, which makes it easy to see what’s really news. Sometimes they put together digests using tools like Paper.li to gather up current news related to one topic. Used this way, Twitter becomes like an RSS feed without the restrictions of what you say you want to hear about—keeping your eyes and ears open to important news outside of a few keywords.
These are just a few ways to go beyond scanning the Wall Street Journal (or newspaper of choice) every day. You’ll have access to the same information that your ideal clients get in their inbox or mailbox, not to mention continuing professional development opportunities in non-language subject areas. It’s all helpful for initiating conversations at industry-related events.
What other ways do you access industry-specific information? How do you stay on top of the news?