BY MOST ANY measure, with its coverage of local affairs, columnists, a comics section, The Rohwer Outpost (reproduced above) was a twice-weekly newspaper that could’ve been found in any small town—the significant difference being that it was distributed not for a local municipality but for a Japanese relocation camp during World War II.

“With this issue, the Rohwer OUTPOST makes its bow and takes its place among the exclusive circle of relocation center newspapers,” begins the first issue from October 1942. “The editors hope that you, the reader, will read it, find it acceptable, support it. The function of a good newspaper is to report the news fairly, accurately, simply. In those respects, the OUTPOST will be a good newspaper.”

Although it’s a surreal experience to read through its pages now—a map of the center’s layout in that first issue, published five weeks after the camp began receiving inmates, gives us chills—it has to be said: In the way that it provides for the historical record, an example that shouldn’t be repeated, it was indeed a good newspaper.

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