Daily Archives: 7 July 2007

Writing on the wall for oldest calligraphed paper

The newspaper is 80 years old. Its editor-in-chief is 76. There are six employees, and the chief reporter is a Hindu. Together, they bring out The Musalman, the Urdu daily newspaper from Triplicane in Madras, probably the last handwritten newspaper in the world.

But its future is uncertain because the paper is handcrafted by four katibs and Urdu calligraphers aren’t quite growing on the trees. The newspaper (circulation 20,000) has no clear successor who would produce it in its handwritten form when editor Syed Fazlulla can no longer do the job.

His son Syed Nasarulla, who runs a greeting-card business out of a loft directly above his father’s office, is a reluctant heir. “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,” says the son.

“Urdu is sweeter when written by hand,” says the father.

Mussalman‘s roster: C. Balasubramaniyam, Rehaman Hussein, Khursheed Begum, Shabana Begum


Read Scott Carney‘s full story: A handwritten daily faces a digital future

View the slideshow here: News calligraphers do it on deadline

Photo courtesy: Scott Carney/ Wired


Nostalgia is no longer what it used to be, baby

The number of journalists who pine about the magic of working on typewriters and crib about how laptops aren’t a patch on the old babies is not funny. So writer Mary Robinette Kowal decided to solve their headache once and for all by modifying her laptop keys to reseumble a typewriter’s.

Read how she did it here: The Kowal portable typewriter and adding machine

‘Green journalism is the new yellow journalism’

Writing about the environment is the new in-thing among young journalists and wannabes. Caring for the planet, cutting carbon emissions, protecting trees, etc, may show that their heart is in the right place, but Jack Shafer argues that there is a hint of haranguing, pontificating, and sermonising in its practitioners that is slightly troubling.

“Often as sensationalistic as its yellow predecessor, green journalism tends to appeal to our emotions, exploit our fears, and pander to our vanity. It places a political agenda in front of the quest for journalistic truth and in its most demagogic forms tolerates no criticism, branding all who question it as enemies of the people.”

Read the full article: Yellow journalism now comes in a new colour