Wired Japan returns to paper | world | Hindustan Times
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Wired Japan returns to paper

world Updated: Mar 23, 2011 01:44 IST
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Nobody tweeted or blogged or e-mailed. They didn't telephone either. Bereft of electricity, gasoline and gas, this tsunami-traumatised city did things the old-fashioned way - with pen and paper.

Unable to operate its 20th-century printing press the city's only newspaper, the Ishinomaki Hibi Shinbun, wrote its articles by hand with black felt-tip pens on big sheets of white paper.

But unlike modern media, the method worked.

"People who suffer a tragedy like this need food, water and, also, information," said Hiroyuki Takeuchi, chief reporter at the Hibi Shinbun. "People used to get their news from television and the Internet. But when there is no light and no electricity, the only thing they have is our newspaper." After writing and editing articles, Takeuchi and others on staff copied their work onto sheets by hand for distribution to emergency relief centres housing survivors of Japan's worst-ever earthquake and deadly tsunami that followed.

"They were desperate for information," said Takeuchi.

With electricity now restored Takeuchi's newspaper has put away its pens and started printing. Monday's printed front page cheered a 'miraculous rescue drama' - the story of an 80-year-old woman and her 16-year-old grandson plucked from their ruined Ishinomaki home on Sunday.

(In exclusive partnership with The Washington Post)