Shooting Star: Easy-To-Read – How to Write it

It’s a real shooting star: The new writing format emerges wherever you look throughout Europe and the world. With new job opportunities for science journalists! At the European Conference of […]

It’s a real shooting star: The new writing format emerges wherever you look throughout Europe and the world. With new job opportunities for science journalists!

At the European Conference of Science Journalists ECSJ 2017 in Copenhagen, Hamburg-based trainer Ilse Furian showed examples from Germany, UK, Sweden.

RAPID TEXT NAVIGATION

She explained why an increasing percentage of adults need plain languages and easy-to-read formats. Some of the reasons, for example: With the advance of the internet, people write and read less and gradually lose their writing and reading skills. This relates particularly to complex content such as in science and technology.

Hajo Neubert, Hamburg-based science journalist, explained the relevance of “easy to read and write” for journalists: easy navigation through press releases. A good reason why communication departments of scientific outlets should make an effort to professionalize in this field because they reach more interested people.

EASY DOES IT

Writing a text in easy language was the main interest of the 25 participants of this session. Ana Crespo and Elisabet Serra, both experts of the Associació Lecturafácil based in Barcelona, introduced examples of their work for the city of Barcelona, e.g. about health care, and explained  the rules for Easy-to-Read: short sentences, easy vocabulary, plenty of paragraphs, among others.

Ana Crespo and Elisabet Serra (©Neubert)

Easily stated – difficult in practice. This was the experience of the participants when they had tried to translate brief scientific texts into easy English. However, it was worthwhile for them to know about it. Especially since the number of news media, broadcasts, even books in easy-formats is rapidly increasing, not to mention official publications by government agencies. They all need to be translated and many employ journalists to do the job.

Easy to read British Times (c) Times

DEMOCRATIC RIGHT FOR EVERYONE

In  democratic societies, there is a right of information for everyone. This is especially crucial for people with reading or learning disabilities.  Their lobbies and pressure made Easy-to-Read became a shooting star.

 

SESSION FACILITATORS

Hanns-J. Neubert
Ana Crespo, Elisabet Serra, Asociacion lecturafacil, Barcelona
Ilse Furian

MORE INFOS

Video “Acces to information”

Report Information and Training Session EASY LANGUAGE (in German on German) at General Assembly of German Science Writers TELI 2017 in Munich

MANUAL WITH RULES AND PRACTICES
170614 Easy-to-Read Association

About Wolfgang C. Goede

Wolfgang C. Goede is a science journalist based in Munich, Germany, board member of the German Association of Science Writers TELI, Honorary Secretary of the European Science Journalists' Associations EUSJA