A former bureau chief for Time magazine and former CEO of Ask.com France have co-founded a site which aims to offer journalists and the public translated news from non-English media.

Worldcrunch.com, which is currently in alpha testing mode, has been set up by former Time bureau chief for Europe Jeff Israely and Irene Toporkoff, who headed Ask.com's operations in France.

The site will provide news articles which have been selected, translated and edited for English journalists and readers.

In its current testing stage the site has launched a sign-up page and a blog is due to be made live soon, before the site is rolled out in the next six weeks.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Israely, who has also worked for the Associated Press in Rome, said the site aims to partner up with non-English media brands "who are looking for smart ways to get their stuff into English and to English language readers".

He said the idea has been "on the backburner" for a long time.

"I, like many of us in the traditional media, was downsized," he said. "I went from a staffer back to a freelancer status last year and it became pretty clear to me that if I wanted to have a real future I had to see what opportunities were there to create something new.

"The role of the foreign correspondent is shrinking and changing and it felt like it was better to get out ahead of the curve then to just take the scraps of what was still left out there."

"We're going straight online so we need to be in the rhythms of the hour to hour, day to day news cycle and be able to identify the stories that have real value every day and get them to English readers promptly," he added.

At the start the site will feature contributions from freelancers but the aim in time is to build "a core staff" of journalists with language skills and foreign correspondent experience, he said.

"Unfortunately for those of us in the business there's no shortage of good people out there who could use some work and are looking for good opportunities. We think that this is a new way to cover the world that still requires the skills and the eyes and the ears that journalists have.

"We are going to have a team of multilingual journalists who are on top of all the news that's breaking in all the major languages and so we hope it unlocks all kinds of information that has been shut off from journalists and general readership."

At the moment he said the search for a business model for the site is "an ongoing question".

"There's no set answer. We think we're going to have the kind of quality content that people will pay for if the market is one in which people are paying for news. This is not commodity content, it's going to be stuff you can't find anywhere else and we think people's habits are changing but we'll see. We're keeping our eyes obviously on what the big boys are doing."

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