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The Daily Need

The news, by any means necessary

The handwritten edition of the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun from March 12, 2011. (via Newsmuseum)

As newsprint gives way to online media, one Japanese daily reverted to an even more old-fashioned publishing approach in a time of crisis: delivering information via pen and paper.

After last month’s earthquake and tsunami left the city of Ishinomaki in ruins and without power, staff members of the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun handwrote the newspaper by flashlight for six days, reporting on rescue efforts and fatalities and hanging the posters at local relief centers. Washington, D.C.’s Newseum has since acquired seven of the handwritten editions for its collection of historic newspapers.

Ishinomaki, which is located in the Miyagi Prefecture in the north of Japan, suffered extensive damage during the disaster. Eighty percent of the city’s homes were destroyed, with thousands of residents dead and still missing, including the majority of the students at one primary school.

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