Trans-Int Presentation

John Rosenthal

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Transatlantic Intelligencer Review.

English-language coverage of European affairs suffers from one fundamental deficiency: namely, the glaring lack of relevant linguistic competence of so many journalists and commentators. It should be scandalous that a major, perhaps still the most influential, American newspaper would ever assign a reporter to cover important developments in Germany or France who does not understand the “local” language. And yet – as I have had frequent occasion to demonstrate in my own writings on European politics and American media, both on Trans-Int and elsewhere – this evidently occurs all the time. When one adds to this lack of relevant linguistic competence an almost equally glaring lack of historical background knowledge, the result is a treatment of European affairs that overwhelming substitutes myths and “memes” for facts. An odd deference displayed by certain American media toward European institutions and some European governments – a deference, incidentally, which the same media would undoubtedly be ashamed to display toward their own government – only compounds the sense of unreality and lends to their coverage a strangely idyllic cast.

With the Transatlantic Intelligencer Review, as with the totality of the Transatlantic Intelligencer site, we intend to restore the facts: indeed to make many facts known to the larger English-speaking public for the first time. Each issue of the Review will be devoted to a single topic of particular importance for contemporary European politics and transatlantic relations. Contributions will feature both original articles and substantial translations from some of the most knowledgeable and independent European observers of European affairs: authors whose work has hitherto been rarely available outside of their native tongues. We are confident that thanks to our thorough knowledge of European sources, the expertise of our contributors, and the linguistic skills of our translators, we will be able to bring you critical, factually-grounded analysis of European politics the likes of which you will find nowhere else in the English language.