When someone as important as Hugo Chavez dies, an interpreter must immediately run to YouTube and research:
– how do they pronounce his name in foreign languages;
– how did they translate a possible key sentence of the announcement speech (that will make the headlines the next day);
– how did the White House react.
And 10 Downing Street, Planalto Palace, and so on.
I particularly like the Associated Press channel. Videos are brief and really informative. I subscribed it, along with AlJAzeeraEnglish and RussiaToday. At first, I subscribed to these two channels so I could have a more “foreigner” perspective of facts, but I do learn lots of English expressions (hi, Portuguese native speaker) with the high-quality language they broadcast. It’s hard to be a news channel in a globalized world…
To be more familiar with foreign accents and new English expressions, I recommend The New York Times, The Guardian and GuardianEdimburgh, which, despite not being updated regularly, helps me understanding the one accent I fear the most. Of course I still haven’t done my homework on Indian or Australian channels. Sometimes the ordinary news channels do interview foreigners that make me rewind a lot, so I can understand them. Yes, I’m talking to you, Mr. Korean.
However, one may not ignore their own native language – and I just realised I should have written the English version of this post on the other way around, sorry. :-P My personal Brazilian favorites are Folha and Estadão, both São Paulo newspapers (the main newspaper in Rio, O Globo, does have a not so good channel for interpreters, for there are mainly images). Paulistas, regarding YouTube, are way more active (my personal favorite is the series called Folhacóptero).
My advice is to subscribe, via your YouTube profile, to your favorite channels and take – I don’t know, some thirty minutes of your day? – to listen to the news. For me, it is more effective than podcasts, but in the future I’ll post about those. Do not try to watch every single video, it won’t be possible. Lately I’ve watched things that I find interesting and, of course, the main news. The thing is: there will always be an earthquake or a kidnapping somewhere, but right now what is important to know, for example, is the name of the residential palace of Venezuela’s president (that’s Miraflores, by the way).