Kesennuma’s Building for the Future and Ishinomaki’s Rolling Press: Sharing Localised News of Recovery from Tōhoku’s Disaster-affected Communities
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The tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011 was an unprecedented disaster, destroying coastal communities in Tōhoku and resulting in the deaths of more than 18,000 people. This chapter evaluates two grassroot media initiatives, the Rolling Press and Kesennuma’s Building for the Future, that were instigated after the disaster to make localised news and information about two recovering communities available in English. By drawing on interviews with contributors, alongside an analysis of the content that they produced, share and continue publish it considers how these projects have attempted to reach audiences that are geographically dispersed and their potential to support disaster recovery. These two cases, the chapter argues, demonstrate how different notions of community may emerge in the context of post-disaster recovery and the potential for such grassroots media projects to meet their information needs, illustrated by the existence and need to cater for a broader community of concern.
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