Scott Carney, a journalist living in Chennai (Madras), has an amazing post about “one small ink-stained corner of Chennai where the world’s last hand written newspaper still churns out 20,000 broad sheets a day”:
I was walking through Tripplicane late last week looking for someone who might be able to teach me the Urdu script when a local fakir led me into a small gully off a main road and introduced me to Syed Fazlulla who has edited “The Musalman” for the last 18 years.
The newspaper employs three full-time calligraphers who painstakingly handwrite and manually typeset the paper the same way they have since 1927. Fazlulla says that they have never switched to computers because he wants to keep the art of calligraphy alive in the secular world. The news room only has three computers—none of which are used for editing or typesetting, and for all intents and purposes are little more than e-mail terminals for the one computer-savvy employee.
There are pictures of the editor, the press (“The off-set printing press is an artifact of the 1920s and has been in continuous operation since the paper’s inception”), and the finished product; it all makes me wish I read Urdu so that I could fully enjoy this glorious anachronism. (Thanks go to Dinesh Rao for the link.)