Critical linguistics has applied innovative research methods to the study of news discourse over the past three decades. The launching of the Spanish Internet service of the BBC poses interesting research questions as regards news production in Spanish by an English-speaking medium concerning the specificity of the service, the use of translated versions of BBCWorld English items, the strategies used in the production of the texts and the quality of the mediation. In this paper we shall use elements of Fairclough's model (1992, 1995a, 1995b, 2001) to analyse a corpus of 134 texts from BBCMundo and BBCWorld. In the introduction, two key concepts both in Translation Studies (TS) and critical linguistics will be discussed: the term translation itself and the role of text producers as mediators. In the subsequent three sections, we shall proceed to analyse the corpus. In the first one, we will attempt to find out whether we are faced with texts specifically conceived for a Spanish readership or whether this medium resorts to translating source texts from the English website. Secondly, we shall trace the existence of English source versions and compare them with the Spanish articles in order to evaluate the strategies used by text producers, and see whether the TTs result from translational or editorial processes. Finally, we shall discuss the quality of the mediating process and articulate an explanation for the existence of a Spanish service of the BBC within the context of modern-day media markets.
This paper proposes the use of ad hoc corpora in journalistic translation research (JTR), particularly to analyse content rather than language issues in news texts. To illustrate the validity of an ad hoc corpus as a research tool, this article will survey the articles reporting on the death and funeral of Margaret Thatcher, posted on the website of the BBC in English and Spanish. It will examine the approach to the news event on the two websites, and whether the news writers/translators of the Spanish texts undermine the dominant narrative found in the English articles. The corpus comprises the texts transedited into Spanish, the English texts, and English and Spanish co-texts that were posted during the same period of time. The results show that BBC Mundo writers/translators offer their readership a distinct approach to this particular news item, which emphasises the negative aspects of Margaret Thatcher's terms in office.