4.17.2011

handwritten newspapers from japan


From Mediaite:
In the wake of Japan's recent massive earthquake and accompanying tsunami, the daily Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun, based in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, found itself without power. So it produced new issues during a crucial time using what was available to editors – paper, and pen.

For six days, six of the paper’s staffers researched stories before passing them on to three others, who then meticulously hand-wrote the news on poster-size paper, using flashlights when natural light was not available. These “newspapers” were then published, so to speak, by pasting them at the entrances of various relief centers, so that survivors could keep up to date with the day’s headlines, free of charge.
What a beautiful throwback to a time when newspapers were the only source of information about the outside world. I found this not only extraordinary for its low-tech resourcefulness, but also moving - that journalists and editors, as providers of information, would take their roles so seriously. We all know that in times of crisis, if our basic needs are met - and sometimes even when they aren't - the thing we hunger for most is information.

5 comments:

David Cho said...

Beautiful! Paper and pen don't go down.

When I was doing a research paper on Dust Bowl migrants, one of the valuable primary sources was the camp newspapers. Scrolled through hundreds of pages in microfiche. they were very crude by today's standards, but I could not stop. I will remember it as one of the fondest experiences (academic or otherwise).

laura k said...

Wow, David, I would have loved that.

David Cho said...

You talk about feeling the connection with history while wading through raw material. It was just great. Knowing the camps were within driving distances made me feel even more connected.

There was a joke submitted by a migrant that you might appreciate. Let me see if I can put this together from memory.

A puppy was born. He would bark at everyone ferociously. Then a few weeks later, he barked only at Republicans. When the owner was asked what happened, he said the puppy finally opened his eyes.

There were other political jokes all at the expense of Republicans. The Dustbowl migrants were all Democrats and the papers were pro-FDR. I guess when historians talk of "political alignment," it didn't happen just in the South. It happened right where I live.

laura k said...

Ha ha, how cute (puppy joke).

You know I love history, but best of all, I love history that happened right where I live. In high school I took a course that was supposed to be a dumb elective, the history of Rockland County NY, where I grew up. I loved the class. I still remember things from it, like which roads were the original roads of the county, all the way back to Native American traders and the first Dutch settlers.

roopa said...

Really great information.Atleast we get paper and pen during that crucial time. Extraordinarily information given from you regards handwritten news papers.Its beautiful throwback to a time when newspapers were the only source of information about the outside world. Thanks for sharing.