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Grass-rooted Publishing...by Tree

Posted on March 05, 2007 by Vinnie Lacey.

Glancing through the Chicago Tribune on my morning commute, I read a fascinating article about the tumultuous Darfur region in Sudan.  Instead of the typical stories of genocide and rape, the article focused on a young woman from El Fasher (the capital of the North Darfur state) named Awatif Ahmed Isshag.  Isshag began a handwritten monthly newsletter covering local events, arts and religion nearly 10 years ago, and found a colorful way to distribute her articles by pasting decorated pages to a large piece of wood and hanging the creation from a tree outside her parents' home. These days, the 24-year-old journalist's grass-roots periodical often confronts the often tragic circumstances in the region, with Isshag conducting all her own interviews and information gathering.   Passersby eat it up, some traveling several miles to read her installments.  Isshag faces pressing issues--threats to her safety, constant insecurity, the loss of relatives--but she bravely soldiers through it all.  "Journalism," she says, "is a profession of risk."

I'll refrain from giving any ill-conceived comparisons to custom publishing, but it's interesting how the struggle to accumulate and disseminate important information can bind us across cultures.  Isshag has found incredibly creative--and brave--means to deliver her message to the community who needs it.  A community that has largely been without a voice, but where one courageous woman is carving out quite the readership.

If only every publication could take such risks. Catch up on Isshag's story here.

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March 5, 2007 in audio publication, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, CMO, company blog, company magazine, company newsletter, Company newsletters, Company publication, Corporate Blogging, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, create a newsletter | Permalink


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