A Handwritten Daily Paper In India Faces The Digital Future

‘CHENNAI, India — The fax machine on 76-year-old Editor-in-Chief Syed Fazlulla’s crowded desk is by far the most sophisticated technology in the room. It whizzes and burps forth a stream of scribbled notes from a correspondent in New Delhi.

‘Fazlulla, who is deep into creating the next issue of the handcrafted The Musalman daily newspaper, frowns as he deciphers the handwriting and searches for a cover story. After some consideration, he passes the page to his brother who translates it into Urdu. He in turn sends the text to the back room where writers take calligraphy quills in hand and begin.

‘Here in the shadow of the Wallajah Mosque, a team of six puts out this hand-penned paper. Four of them are katibs — writers dedicated to the ancient art of Urdu calligraphy. It takes three hours using a pen, ink and ruler to transform a sheet of paper into news and art.’ (Wired News article).