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Although journalistic translation research has been quite successful over the past 15 years, from a methodological point of view many scholars struggle with the total or partial absence of a traceable source text. As a consequence, parallel corpora are rare and the researcher often has to rely on multilingual sets of texts that are comparable. This contribution deals in detail with that essential methodological problem. It relates the multisource and multi-author situation of translation in journalism to this non- (or only partially) identifiable character of the source text–target text relationship. We argue that the triangulation of comparative text analysis with fieldwork adds value to this type of research. This argument is illustrated with a study triangulating textual analysis in three languages with interviews and non-participant observation. Such a triangulation also responds to earlier calls for a more elaborated contextualization of the production process and the sociohistorical circumstances in journalistic translation research.

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This background paper recalls the main findings gained so far in news translation research. It also presents issues and questions which still deserve scholarly attention. The contributions to this special issue are contextualized in relation to research into news translation, or journalistic translation more widely. One of the major issues concerns the choice of methodological approaches to tackle the phenomenon of news translation. The contributions illustrate scope and limitations of various methodologies, which are mainly product-oriented and advocate for triangulation with participant-centred methods.

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