The NYT's fantastic Moscow bureau has just started a funny experiment I wish more foreign news bureaus would undertake: translating some of its stories into Russian and posting them on Russia's biggest blog site, LiveJournal.ru. They posted Cliff Levy's long piece on Putin's "new autocracy" on their LiveJournal on Friday -- over the weekend, it became one of the site's most trafficked blogs -- and printed some of the 3,000 comments in today's Times. Read the comments. Some are intelligent --
You’re facing an uphill perception battle. Your article is a piece of investigative journalism; to you — but not to your audience. Most of what’s published in this genre in Russian are thinly veiled, slanted opinion pieces masquerading as reporting. Your work, to a greater or lesser extent, will be read in the same vein.
-- and all point to an extreme level of interest among Russians in what Americans are saying about them, and in America, even the small twists and turns in our presidential race. Here's one of my favorites:
It’s better not to translate such a nightmare into Russian. One can only repeat what McCain’s wife said: I am ashamed for The New York Times.