8 Unique Newspapers

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Since newspapers are generally intended for geographic areas, not to cover specific topics, finding newspapers that are unusual for one reason or another can be tricky. After searching far and wide, I've found 8 rather unique newspapers. (If you haven't read it already, also check out December's list of 8 unique magazines.)

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1. Most Extreme Climate:
The Antarctic Sun

The Antarctic Sun serves the scientists and others living and working in Antarctica. Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, The Antarctic Sun's topics cover Antarctic current events, the Clothing Distribution Center in New Zealand, Sir Edmund Hillary's death, and other topics of concern to Antarctica residents. The 10-year-old newspaper is published once a week each austral summer, from mid-October through early-February, with occasional midwinter special editions. All the past issues are available in PDF form on the Sun's site.

2. Most Cooperative: Du-Et

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Du-Et was the first, and probably the only, newspaper of its kind. The newspaper was launched to connect Israel's two worlds. A quarterly newspaper, Du-Et is written and produced jointly by Jewish and Arab journalists and is distributed by both the Hebrew and the Arabic national press. Back issues, from the first in 2004 through autumn 2006, are available in English, Arabic, and Hebrew as PDFs on the Du-Et site.

3. Most On-the-Beaten Trail:
Route 20 Pulse

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Route 20 Pulse coined a new term, "linearation newspaper," to describe itself. The newspaper was a monthly that covers and is distributed to the 120-mile stretch of U.S. Route 20 in New York. Topics covered by the Pulse were typical local-news fodder—community events and shops, citizens' achievements—but they address over 30 communities along the "Scenic Byway." The paper is no longer in print, but an archive of articles from November 2005 through July 2006 is available on the Pulse's site.

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4. Most Competitive:
The Daily Cardinal and The Badger Herald

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Journalism & Mass Communication is home to two dueling independent student dailies. The Daily Cardinal is over 120 years old and serves the campus and its surrounding community. The Badger Herald was founded in 1969 as an alternative voice; it has since dropped its "alternative" reputation but continues to compete with the Cardinal for scoops. UW-Madison is the country's only campus with two independent student dailies, at least as of 1999. Both papers' archives are available on their respective sites.

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5. Most Political: The Politico

Less than a year old, The Politico was launched to cover Capitol Hill politics, presidential campaigns, and Washington lobbying and advocacy. Published Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, The Politico is available for free throughout the D.C.-metro area or via home-delivery subscriptions for $200/year. Its web site includes video, a photo gallery, a plethora of articles, up-to-date caucus and primary results, and an archive of M. Wuerker's political cartoons.

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6. Largest Circulation: Yomiuri Shimbun

Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun has the largest circulation, over 14 million, in the world. The paper is 134 years old and today publishes twice daily with multiple local editions. With The Daily Yomiuri, readers can catch up on the same news that's in the Yomiuri Shimbun while simultaneously learning English. The articles are in English alongside Japanese translations or explanatory notes. Both papers' articles are also available on their respective web sites.

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7. Smallest Country's Newspaper:
L'Osservatore Romano

L'Osservatore Romano is the newspaper of Vatican City, the world's smallest country (only 0.17 square miles). Vatican City has a population just under 900, but the 146-year-old newspaper is distributed daily in Italian and weekly in 7 different languages (French, Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Polish). The cover page of the daily version carries the next day's date, a practice that has been known to confuse some readers. The web site has PDF versions of the current weekly edition in all 7 languages.

8. Most Convincing, Yet Fake, News:
The Onion

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The world's foremost parody newspaper was founded in 1988; The Onion's current circulation is approximately 710,000. Looking and feeling like a real newspaper, "America's Finest News Source" sometimes tricks unwitting readers into believing stories like "Report: 94% of South Dakotans Unprepared for Mt. Rushmore Faces Coming Alive and Eating Everyone" and "Jamie Lynn Spears Loses Custody of Fetus." The web site's archive contains all the Onion content from the past nine years.

An honorable mention goes to The Latest News, a newspaper from the States News Service printed hourly between 4 and 9 p.m. for business commuters flying between New York, Washington, and Boston (though it may now be out of print).

So let's hear it: What's the most interesting, unique, or downright bizarre newspaper you know of? Or do you know of another campus with dueling papers, like University of Wisconsin-Madison?

February 1, 2008 - 4:04am
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