In an effort to make hyperlocal content more accessible to diverse populations of local citizens, Berks Community Television (BCTV) has launched a new tool on the community media website www.bctv.org through which the reader may select from 104 language options for translation.
This project was made possible by the Hawley & Myrtle Quier Fund of Berks County Community Foundation. The support is part of a grant that will also allow BCTV to pay for ongoing translation services for select video content.
“BCTV.org’s articles, videos, and programs showcase the richness of living in Berks County by highlighting local issues and opportunities. Providing more of that content in translation is a great way to make sure community information is accessible to everyone who lives here,” said Heidi Williamson, Senior Vice President for Programs and Initiatives for Berks County Community Foundation.
“We are very proud of this dynamic addition to our site, and we hope that it helps those that are seeking local information and stories by allowing them to read in their native or preferred language,” said BCTV Executive Director Heather Adams. “We are seeing increased demand specifically for Spanish language video production and website content, and we want to continue to increase translation services for key content across all of our platforms.”
In partnership with the League of Women Voters of Berks County, BCTV has worked in recent years with local translators and Centro Hispano Daniel Torres to make candidate interviews available in English and Spanish prior to elections, and offers bilingual and Spanish language programming hosted by volunteer community program producers.
BCTV Board Chair Bala Peterson said, “This is a critical step in reducing language barriers for community members, so that they may benefit from our local media resource, and participate in content creation.”
In order to select a language preference at www.bctv.org, the user may click the language menu tool at the bottom of the page to select their preferred language setting. The tool immediately applies the translation to all written content on the website, including video descriptions. The option is also available on the optimized mobile site.
The translation option for the website was implemented by Weidenhammer, a nationally recognized digital transformation consulting firm headquartered in Reading, PA. Weidenhammer Web Developer, Emily Rudolph, commented on the project, “When we create websites, our goal is to make them useful for as many users as possible. With the addition of new language options, BCTV.org is now accessible to many more people in Berks County, and beyond.”
BCTV’s mission as a nonprofit community media organization is to empower people and engage community through media.
The modern media landscape is creating a renewed relevancy and need for citizen-driven local information, and fresh collaborations and partnerships are paving the way for community media to thrive in Berks County. BCTV is a pillar of civic engagement, dedicated to information access, education, free speech, transparency in government, and a forum for individuals and organizations to participate openly in dialogue that shapes our community and keeps Berks County informed and involved.