In an email this week, the site's co-founder Robin Koerner explained to me the site's purpose:
[The site] translates foreign news about the U.S., to enable Americans (and all English speakers) read what is being written about them and their country throughout the world. Much of our content is available nowhere else in English. Our attempt to break down the final barrier of understanding – the language barrier – has attracted the attention of mainstream media (such as USA Today, dozens of other US papers, the Guardian, BBC, and various radio stations such as NPR), since we launched about a year ago. Indeed, we are generally considered now an A-list media outlet, mentioned and listed along with the NYT, BBC, CNN etc. What is put out in other countries in English for Western consumption often differs markedly from what is being written in the native languages. Accordingly, Watching America offers a unique window into world opinion.Well, there you have it. Go check it out and spread the word! And, if you speak something other than English, maybe consider helping them out as a volunteer.
Although we want to gain a mass readership, and are growing fast, most exciting our visitors include on the one hand increasing numbers of universities, and on the other, pretty much all of the U.S. government departments, but in particular the CIA and State Department.
The two cofounders and around 30 translators work as volunteers, and we still have a long way to go until the project becomes self-supporting. One of the many great articles about our site can be found here.
Please take a look at Watching America, and if you appreciate its value, please consider putting a permanent link on your own site to help us spread the word.
Reading this site will be eye-opening. Friends, we still have a long way to go to "win hearts and minds". It's too bad our own country's press doesn't seem very willing to help us in that endeavor. At least, by watching those who are watching us we can know what we're up against.
These questions that judge us also unite us, because Americans of every party and background, Americans by choice and by birth, are bound to one another in the cause of freedom. We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them. Yet those divisions do not define America. We felt the unity and fellowship of our nation when freedom came under attack, and our response came like a single hand over a single heart. And we can feel that same unity and pride whenever America acts for good, and the victims of disaster are given hope, and the unjust encounter justice, and the captives are set free.
-- President George W. Bush