Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun (JPN, 2011)

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Ishinomaki Hibi Shimibun (JPN, 2011)

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

Frequency:   Six days while the newspaper could not be printed after massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power disasters affected the region

Volume and Issue Data:  March 12-17, 2011

Size and Format:  Poster-sized paper

Editor/Publisher:  Hiroyuki Takeuchi, chief reporter, and the Hibi Shimbun staff

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description & Notes:

In the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun newspaper was published for six days in handwritten form. According to the Washington Post,

Unable to operate its 20th-century printing press — never mind its computers, Web site or 3G mobile phones — the town’s only newspaper, the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun, 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 Shimbun, an afternoon daily. “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.”

While recent political ferment across the Arab world has trumpeted the power of new media, the misery in Japan, one of the world’s most wired nations, has rolled back the clock. For a few days at least, the printed and handwritten word were in the ascendant.

 After writing and editing articles, Takeuchi and others on staff copied their work onto sheets by hand for distribution to emergency relief centers housing survivors of Japan’s worst-ever earthquake and deadly tsunami that followed.

“They were desperate for information,” said Takeuchi, who has slept in the office for the 10 days since the tsunami flooded the ground floor of his house.

With electricity now restored to about a third of the northeast town’s 160,000 residents, Takeuchi’s newspaper has put away its pens and started printing. Internet access is still not available. 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 Sunday.

Down the coast in Sendai, a once-thriving city of more than 1 million, the digital juggernaut has also come to a halt. “In conditions like these, nothing has power like paper,” said Masahiko Ichiriki, president and owner of Kahoku Shimpo, the city’s main newspaper. With most shops shut, people can’t buy batteries to power radios.

The Newseum (a museum dedicated free press and news reporting, which closed in 2019) purchased copies of the handwritten papers, which are now on display at the Washington, D.C. museum. According to the Newseum website (now also closed):

“The Newseum became aware of the Hibi Shimbun‘s heroic efforts from a March 21, 2011, story on the earthquake in The Washington Post. That morning, Brian Nishimura Lee, the Newseum’s senior administrator for database and financial systems, emailed editors at the Hibi Shimbun and requested copies of the handwritten editions for the museum’s collection.”

The Newseum website (closed) provided additional details that did not appear in the original Washington Post story:

“Ishinomaki, with a population of about 160,000 people, was one of the hardest hit in Japan. Approximately 80 percent of the homes were destroyed. About 1,300 people have died, and more than 2,700 are still missing.

“The first handwritten newspaper on March 12 was an “Extra” edition that informed residents that the earthquake was “the biggest in the history of Japan.” The next day’s edition told about “rescue teams arriving in some areas.” On March 16, the paper said, “Let’s overcome the hardship with mutual support.” By March 17, the paper wrote about the lights coming back on.

“The first printed edition of the newspaper since the power outage was published on March 18. Editions have been distributed free to refugee sites each day.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography: Andrew Higgins, “In Ishinomaki, news comes old-fashioned way: Via paper,” Washington Post (web edition), March 21, 2011

Links: Newseum video of Japanese handwritten newspapers (no longer active on the closed Newseum site, but still available through the Freedom Forum on YouTube)

Locations:  Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC

The Intelligencer (UT, ca. 1865)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication: Payson, Utah

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Ca. 1865

Size and Format:  Approx. eight pages

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  Unknown

General Description and Notes:

Alter quotes the Deseret News, March 29, 1865:

The Payson Advocate and The Intelligencer.  Manuscript newspapers, 8 pages each, judging from letters, and No. 6 of the Advocate, are proving interesting and beneficial to both writers and readers–a very commendable mode of using a portion of leisure time.”


Information Sources:

Bibliography:  J. Cecil Alter, Early Utah Journalism  (Salt Lake City:  Utah State Historical Society, 1938), 190.

Locations:  No issues located, but cited in the Deseret News, March 29, 1865

The Intelligencer (UT, 1865)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Parowan, Utah

Frequency:  Weekly

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol.1 No.3, Feb 11, 1865; Vol.1,  No.4, Feb. 18, 1865; Vol.1, No.6, March 4, 1865

Size and Format:  8”x12”, 2 columns

Editor/Publisher:  Joseph Fish, William Davenport, H.S. Coombs

Title Changes and Continuation:

General Description and Notes:

Motto:  “Thought is the Mind’s Wealth”

The Intelligencer is published every Saturday morning by the young men of Parowan, Utah.

Terms:  Read and return to editor.

Advertisements free

Poetry, lit. stories, Religion, ads, city council news, letter to the editor

(p.2-3, No.4) The editors of the Intelligencer had thought of changing the name of this sheet, but upon more mature deliberation, they think it best to continue the original title.  To those shoe were present at the spelling school and saw The Hesperian Sentinal this may serve as an explanation of the change.

Alter, p.189:  Parowan, Iron County, S. Utah:  “The Intelligencer, a pen and ink manuscript newspaper comes to life for a single glance through a reference by editor Stenhouse of the Salt Lake Daily Telegraph, Saturday morning, April 16, 1865.

“Our Southern contemporary, that unpretending sheet, the Intelligencer, published by the Young Men of Parowan, comes to our table as regularly as the Southern mail will admit. It contains articles upon education and other matters worthy of perusal.”

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  J. Cecil Alter, Early Utah Journalism (Salt Lake City:  Utah State Historical Society, 1938), 190

Locations:  Mormon Church Archives (M5d5824), Salt Lake City, UT;  Cited in the Desert News, March 29, 1865

The Institute Ledger (IL, 1858)

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Publication History:

Place of Publication:  Batavia Institute, Illinois

Frequency:  Unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  Vol. 1, No. 2, March 30, 1858

Size and Format:  20 pages

Editor/Publisher:  Unknown

Title Changes and Continuation:  None

General Description and Notes:

Affiliated with the Batavia Institute.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  None

Locations:  Manuscripts (SC 2006), Illinois State Historical Library, Old State Capitol, Springfield, IL

Illustrated Arctic News (ENG-AK, 1850-1851)

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Illustrated Arctic News (Eng-AK, 1850-1851)

Entry Updated: December 21, 2016

Publication History:

Place of Publication:  On board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., in search of the expedition under Sir John Franklin looking for the “Northwest Passage”

Frequency:  Five issues; frequency unknown

Volume and Issue Data:  October 1850-March 1851

Size and Format:  44.5 x 27 cm.; printed facsimile is folio, 12 x 19 inches, 57 pp

Editor/Publisher: Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall?

Title Changes and Continuation: None

General Description and Notes:

Illustrated Arctic News (printed) (AK, 1850-1851)

Printed and published after the H.M.S. Resolute expedition returned home, from the five numbers originally issued in manuscript, October 1850-March 1851, on shipboard during the wintering of the H.M.S. Resolute in Barrow Strait.

The H.M.S. Terror, captained by Sir Franklin (and its companion ship, the H.M.S. Erebus), which the Resolute’s crew and other expeditions searched for over a period of 11 years, was finally found at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean above the Arctic Circle in September 2016, according the The Guardian (Sept. 12, 2016). The H.M.S. Terror was located 168 years after it went missing off King William Island in eastern Queen Maud Gulf in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in Nunavut, Canada (see map below). The H.M.S. Erebus had been found several years earlier just to the south of where the Terror was later located.

Map: The H.M.S. Resolute wintered on the Barrow Strait in search of the Sir Franklin expedition. The H.M.S. Terror and its companion ship the H.M.S. Erebus were found, more than 160 years after they went missing, off King William Island in Queen Maud Gulf.

The H.M.S. Resolute, on which these handwritten newspapers were produced, became famous in politics and popular culture long after its retirement. Wood from the ship was later made into two desks, one of which the English crown gave as a gift to the United States President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. That desk still sits today in the Oval Office of the White House. That desk was also featured (as was its origin from the H.M.S. Resolute) in the popular film, National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007), starring Nicholas Cage.

Information Sources:

Bibliography:  Sherard Osborn and George F. McDougall, eds., Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News, Published on Board H.M.S. Resolute, Captain Horatio T. Austin, C.B., In Search of the Expedition Under Sir John Franklin (London:  Ackerman, 1852)

Links: Captain Horatio T. Austin;  Sir John Franklin Northwest Passage Expedition; “Ship Found in Arctic 168 Years after Doomed Northwest Passage Attempt”; Franklin’s Last Voyage.

Locations: British Library (?);   Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, England; Metropolitan Reference Library, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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