Newspapers: No Sayonora for Hato-san

Japan's fiercely competitive big-city dailies fight for circulation with all the costly gadgetry of modern news gathering. Walkie-talkies, high-speed teleprinters, facsimile transmitters and radio-equipped cars are standard reportorial accessories. To cover a big story quickly, Tokyo's Yomiuri Shimbun (circ. 3,900,000) will throw in mobile radiophoto units, a brace of helicopters, one of its six airplanes. Beyond all that, Japanese newspapers' rooftops are equipped with some of the oddest journalistic aids in use anywhere today—flocks of carrier pigeons.

In a land of typhoons and earth quakes, carrier pigeons have proved themselves reliable...

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