Diving for Cultural Pearls | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 28.02.2005
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Diving for Cultural Pearls

Perlentaucher, Germany's leading online culture magazine which offers the best of the country's features and reviews, is now setting up an English site. DW-WORLD is one of its partners.


Next time the pearls promise to be in English

For German journalists with little time to sift through the arts and features pages of every noteworthy newspaper and magazine, Perlentaucher -- or "Pearl-diving" -- is an ideal source for a quick daily overview.

The online magazine founded in 2000 by three Hamburg culture vultures, scours the German print media for the finest in high-brow culture features and book recommendations, as well as interesting articles, columns, book, film and theater reviews and political cartoons in international magazines.

In addition, Perlentaucher has also begun offering its own content, including articles about debates in the German media world, cultural programs on television as well as exclusive, pre-publication book reviews.

In a recent interview with German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, founder Thierry Chervel said the strongest aspect of his Web site was the book data bank, which made up nearly half of the around 1.2 million page impressions a month.

Now in English

With some 500,000 visitors every month, the magazine, set up with a modest 60,000 DM (€30,000) borrowed from friends of the founders, has become a serious player in the German media landscape.

Perlentaucher is now taking its phenomenal success a step further by launching an English Web site in the first week of March. Called signandsight.com, the site aims to make urbane German culture, as well as intellectual debates in the German-language media, accessible to a wider audience.

Much like the German site, it will also peruse leading newspapers to offer an English review of the features' and arts highlights of the country's leading newspapers.

In a press release, Perlentaucher said that the Internet and the English language were ideal tools for the internationalization of information and debates. It added that European debates on the Iraq war, EU expansion, relations with Islam and the European constitution needed international platforms to be able to be debated beyond national borders.

Signandsight will rely heavily on a team of translators, who will sift through the arts and culture pages of newspapers and translate interesting texts into English. The German cultural foundation will support Perlentaucher's English Web site until 2007.

DW-WORLD's English Web site will be one of the project's partners. Signandsight will have DW-WORLD's news as a live feed on its site, while DW-WORLD will include a signandsight banner.

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