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Mother of two, living life in small-town South Africa

A daily newspaper – by hand

The Musalman

Imagine producing a daily newspaper written entirely by hand? There’s a really interesting posting – and slideshow – on Wired today about an Indian newspaper that is produced by hand by a team of six, four of whom are calligraphers. This somehow seems poignant in the post-Cue recovery space that we’re all in. The thought of all the digital resources thrown at a 10-day event is exhausting: Cue newspaper; Cue online; a festival blog, Cue TV, Cue radio, a staff of 70… Phew!

And, instead, I’m really inspired by The Musalman. Produced every day by a team of six, the newspaper is devoted mainly to poetry, messages on devotion to God and communal harmony. Four of the staff are katibs, or writers dedicated to the ancient art of Urdu calligraphy. They take three hours to transform a sheet of paper into news and art. Fabulous!

Maybe I’m just feeling old-fashioned today, but somehow I’m not that thrilled at the thought of the editor’s son taking over. He feels that changes need to be made. “There is no practical reason we have not gone to computers. If my father asks me to take over I will take over, but there will be changes.”

Doesn’t he get it?

And I’m also wondering if this is really the last handwritten newspaper in the world? Or do you know of African examples? I’d be interested to hear from you…

(Thanks to Ray Hartley, editor of The Times and whose blog I read regularly, for picking up this story.)

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Filed under: Newspapers

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