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From Japan, which continues to reel from the recent one-two punch of earthquake and tsunami, comes a stirring example of how one newspaper views its social role.

Conditions were especially dire in the days immediately after the twin disasters, yet these journalists were undaunted. A half-dozen rounded up the news. Three others wrote it out by hand on large sheets of paper. These were posted at relief centers.

The cycle was repeated for six days, until the paper could resume traditional mass production. Free copies now are provided to relief centers each day.

So here’s a message to my future students: Think it’s hard to put out a paper?

Really?

Think again.

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