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Highlands title targets Polish community with bilingual newspaper

The Northern Times is to launch a bilingual newspaper for the growing migrant Polish community in the Highlands.

Gazeta z Highland is due to hit the streets for the first time on Friday, with 16 pages of articles written in Polish with an English translation alongside.

The free newspaper is the brainchild of Alison Cameron, deputy editor and advertising manager of Scottish Provincial Press title the Northern Times, and much of the content will be written and translated by Polish journalist Joanna Napiorkowska who moved to the Highlands last year.

Alison told HoldtheFrontPage she had the idea for the paper around 15 months ago after speaking to contacts who said the Polish community would welcome its own newspaper.

She said: “As far as we know this is a first for Scotland.

“The whole idea is to promote greater understanding between the two communities.

“By having the articles translated into English we hope that Scottish readers will have a greater knowledge of the problems facing the Poles living here and of their culture.

“We also hope that having a translation alongside will help Polish readers to learn English.”

  • Joanna (left) and Alison show First Minister Jack McConnell their plans for Gazeta z Highland
  • Around 20,000 copies of the launch edition will be published, many of which will be given away with SPP’s Inverness Courier.

    Between 4,000 and 5,000 copies of subsequent issues will then be available free throughout the Highlands and Moray in supermarkets, pubs, libraries and bus stations.

    Initally Gazeta z Highland will be published quarterly, and it is hoped it will eventually become a monthly publication. The first issue has been sponsored by the Highland Wellbeing Alliance and local advertisers are now being targeted.

    It is estimated that 10,000 Polish immigrants are now living in the Highlands, mostly in Inverness.

    In a recent trip to the city, the launch of Gazeta z Highland was welcomed by Scottish First Minister Jack McConnell (pictured).

  • Other local newspapers catering for the Polish community include the Reading Chronicle, which publishes a Polish edition of the paper every week, and the Southern Daily Echo which published a bilingual supplement. The Northern Echo, Plymouth Herald and Torquay Herald Express all publish weekly columns written in Polish.