Talk:Prisoner of war

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US Indoctrination of POWs[edit]

I'm surprised that it is not mentioned in the article that the USA did not release it's Germany prisons held in North America until after an intese schooling of the soldiers in 'how they should run their country' after the war. There was no torcher or 'mistreatment' involved. This was traditional schooling in a classroom like setting with a teacher, blackboard, and the students taking notes with a lot of information about how democratic government works. I'd hardly call it an attorcity but it was in violation of the Geneva accords.

N.Korea US pows[edit]

I took out the image caption - "2/3 of US prisoners of war in communist captivity did not survive the war." <<< Seems a bit suspect. I remember one US Army general saying that north koreans suffered treatment worse under SK and US captivity than the North Korean treatment --maxrspct ping me 23:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Source? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:25, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Contributions by[edit]

You need to properly cite valid references. See WP:NOR. --Wikiscient (talk) 10:00, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

the prsiosoners of the war were very mistreated! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

3,000 British WW 1 internees in Switzerland?[edit]

In the section Release of prisoners under WW 1, it stated in the first sentence that:

At the end of the war in 1918 there were believed to be 140,000 British prisoners of war in Germany, including 3,000 held in Switzerland.

What were 3,000 British POW's doing in neutral Switzerland? If those 3,000 Brits were internees -- including civilians -- it might be believable, but 3,000 British military internees seems unbelievable. The Swiss border is 100's of kilometers from the British WW 1 areas of operation in northwestern France and Belgium. Does anyone have any insight into this situation? Possibly escaped POW's from German camps?--TGC55 (talk) 12:35, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Switzerland was a preferred landing zone for damaged Allied airplanes.Ekem (talk) 03:43, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
You must be talking about WW 2 in which your statement was certainly true.--TGC55 (talk) 15:09, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikiproject Prisons[edit]

If anyone is interested, I have proposed a new Wikiproject concerning prisons here.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 22:47, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

polisario pows[edit]

this page is heavily pro-nazi... you can tell a German wrote most of it. Im surprised they stopped short of denying the halocaust.

Image deletion[edit]

Please provide your reasons for deletion of an image with Japanese POW. Thanks, Biophys (talk) 23:33, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

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Palestinean POWs[edit]

I belive there was a large number of Palestinean POWs taken by Isreal--Villa88 (talk) 00:54, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

supposedly "notable" POWs[edit]

I removed some names from the List of notable POWs section because:

  • a google search for Akbar Abotorabi Fard returns only copied text from this article, but nothing mentioning him to be a notable POW
  • a google search for "Leslie Wayne Tennyson" returns 4 results (a google search for his filmmaker grandson returns 1 (!) hit)
  • E.R. (Bon) Hall - in all name variations searched and nothing noteworthy found
  • Wallace R. Benson - nothing to be found (and as head of the photogrammetry department of the Wyoming Highway Department he would never merit his own article)
  • Alija Izetbegovic "was held as hostage for several days" - no POW by any means
  • Manda Manchiani - nothing to be found about her on the net
  • Arthur Koestler was never a soldier and therefore was never a POW
also Friedrich Paulus was no outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler - he was one of Hitlers most loyal generals until August 1944 when he co-signed some calls to German troops to surrender

--noclador (talk) 13:32, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

There is no discussion on this page for the reasons behind the deletion of this section.
Koestler may not have been a soldier but he was interned as an enemy alien and wrote an interesting book about it.
Earlier, as a journalist during the Spanish Civil War, he had been put in prison and threatened with execution. He wrote another, different, book about that experience.
Varlaam (talk) 16:26, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Bold/Italic numbers[edit]

Is there any reason for the bold and italicized numbers in the second paragraph of WWII-Treatment of POWs by the Allies?--Pokeronskis (talk) 03:44, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Did "only" 474,967 German POWs die in Soviet captivity?[edit]

Krivosheev's figure is more than doubtful and differs absolutely from the figure of the German Red Cross. To my knowledge this figure says, that more than a million German POWs have died in Soviet captivity quite sure(?) and 1.3 million were missed at the end of the war, of whom obviously about 90% finally were at the eastern front. [1]

Maybe 1 or 1.5 million were killed soon after surrender and never registered or (likely) Soviet archives are very fragmentary. (Even American records about the many German POWs at the end of the war were of a remarkable incompletion.)

But not doubtful is the criminal treatment of Soviet POWs in German captivity. Once an eyewitness told me, that he, when being injured in a hospital for German soldiers, saw Soviet POWs starving - some of them died - in a camp, separated only by a guarded barbwired fence from the hospital area. Any contact to the POWs was strictly forbidden and the message was clear: If you ever surrender, there will be no mercy. Your fate will be no better!

Only a few single not collaborating Soviet POWs could be so lucky, to experience the totally opposite. So I remember a published letter to the editor of my homenewspaper during the late Gorbatchev area, where a former Soviet POW told, that he never could write before and if someone knews about his former "host family" to whom he had been ordered then, to help on their farm and who treated him like a son. (May be, they kept in mind their own son, being at the front.) They had also covered him, when getting the message, he should be picked up for another place. But this man had great luck!

To reconciliation now the story of a Soviet sergeant, who saved the life of one of my uncles, who in 1945 was a 17 year old -looking younger - soldier of the Waffen-SS, who - days after the end of the war - was within a group of civilian clothes wearing buddies, who tried, to leave Bohemia through the woods to access Germany. In doing so, they suddenly came across a Soviet check point. They had no chance to escape, but the days before they had seen some civilian (real civilian) victims of so-called partisans (- an insult to partisans like AK -) so that they were determined, not to become captured alive. For some seconds it was a surreal situation. Both sides silent. Then the sergeant came to them, speaking some German words in a friendly manner. "Home?" "Yes." Once he run his hand over my uncle's hair and asked him: "Home to mum?" "Yes." Then he took the map and illustrated the way, they should go and which routes were dangerous. When they were alone again, they first didn't believe, but strictly followed the advice, came never over a Soviet check point again and finally reached the western part of Germany. My uncle told, this man had saved his live. At the check point this man was only an enemy for him and he had not hesitated one second, to take his pistol and shoot him dead, if only a superiors had told him one word. My uncle, later became a great fan of Russian culture, was engaged in partnership of his town in Westgermany with a Russian town, had close connections to some Russians and it was self-evident for him, to subscribe money when there was a crop failure in the SU etc.

This, for sure, was nothing, which belongs to an encyclopedia, but something, which illustrates something.

--Henrig (talk) 05:59, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Denial of POW status[edit]

I'd like to suggest a new section for "Denial of POW status", which can then also link to the DEF/SEP articles and other examples. "Qualification" is within "Modern times" section, but this matter is not limited to modern times, so perhaps both it and "Denial of POW status" should be top-level sections coming somewhere towards the end of the article. Any comments? Euan McKay (talk) 14:54, 12 September 2009 (UTC)


How can a 1915 photo be in colour?-- (talk) 23:27, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

colour photography has been around since the late 1800's - Lostcause1798 (talk) 19:00, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

POW portrait[edit]

I added a portrait done by a POW war artist which was subsequently deleted with no reason given. I have replaced it as it is relevant, significant, of general interest and provides a welcome contrast to the other visual references which are mainly photographs. Tomintoul (talk) 08:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I had replaced it by a photo of the Bataan Death March because there is not really place to put more than three pictures and because a photo is much more meaningful than a painting which, contrary to what you claim, is not particularly "relevant, significant, of general interest" as, without an explanation, nothing in this painting gives a clue to the way it is related to the topic...--Flying Tiger (talk) 15:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

The painting was placed next to the name of the POW war artist that painted it. (Four POW war artists are referred to in the text.)Tomintoul (talk) 16:39, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I evidently noticed that... As I noticed that this painting was downloaded by yourself on Wikipedia commons and that you also added it on the article about the artist. It dosen't give it more relevance than a photo showing POW in explicit situations...--Flying Tiger (talk) 19:20, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

There are no other examples of POW art on the page, but lots of photographs. Persons with an interest in war art, such as myself, will find this relevant and interesting (and rare). Could I invite some other views on this? Tomintoul (talk) 20:14, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Treatment of POWs by the Allies section[edit]

I'm rather surprised to see that this section's coverage of how the western Allies treated POWs is focused almost entirely on the rare incidents in which prisoners were mistreated; there's only a single sentence which acknowledges that they normally treated POWs well. Nick-D (talk) 07:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Indo-Pak War Section[edit]

Non-neutral, poorly written, unreferenced save one item of little relevance. Should this be deleted?


The first sentence is :"The death toll among POWs in general is estimated at between 6 and 10 million." . Why this sentence first? Cant see the relevence. Blablaaa (talk) 23:52, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

It should of not been the first sentence under Germany. That number figure was for the overall POW deaths during WW2 while this is supposed to be a section on Germany. The figure was removed by me weeks ago since it did not apply directly to just Germany. Caden cool 18:07, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Gulf war[edit]

What happened to the Iraqi POWs taken by the coalition forces in 1991? Were they repatriated after the armstice? How Saddam Hussein treated them? Olegwiki (talk) 11:32, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Numbers of German POWs dead in Allied custody?[edit]

I could not help but notice this: The WW II section very clearly states numbers of Soviets dead in German POW camps, of Germans dead in Soviet POW camps, and of Allied troops dead in German camps. The section about Germans in Allied POW camps, however, is suspiciously void of numbers. I don't want to swing the POV mallet here, but it's a curious coincidence. Anybody cares to rectify this? -- DevSolar (talk) 13:32, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

That sounds like a gap which needs to be filled - do you have any reliably sourced figures which can be added? Nick-D (talk) 09:34, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Not on my bookshelf, no. Perhaps someone has better books (or more time to Google)? -- DevSolar (talk) 15:12, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps copying some of the numbers from Rheinwiesenlager? -- DevSolar (talk) 15:23, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

Civilians as POW's[edit]

Anyone got a source for this? Noncombatants may not be taken as POW's, see Condé Victor H. (2004) A handbook of international human rights terminology University of Nebraska Press ISBN 978-0803264397 p36 Darkness Shines (talk) 21:19, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Very close paraphrasing[edit]

I just checked the source for the treatment of Maya prisoners of war. The article has:

In Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica more than a thousand years ago, prisoners of war were paraded before the king and his royal cohort and subjected to ritual humiliation and torture.

This is practically lifted from the cited source, the Los Angeles Times:

In the fearsome Maya civilization of Mesoamerica more than a thousand years ago, wars were fought twice -- once on the battlefield and again in elaborate courtly rituals. Prisoners of war were paraded before the king and his royal cohort and subjected to ritual humiliation and torture

It seems a little too close for comfort to me. Simon Burchell (talk) 18:22, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

There's nothing stopping you from rephrasing it. Be bold. But a lot of non-NPOV language has been stripped from the original, so I don't see a clear-cut copyright violation. There's only so many ways to phrase "ritual humiliation and torture", though "king and his royal cohort" is unusual enough wording that there may be an alternative. --Yaush (talk) 18:27, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, it was only one line, not a whole paragraph - and the "king and his royal cohort" is probably a mistake for "the king and his royal court" anyway - just wondering whether this is enough to count as WP:COPYVIO or not. Thanks, Simon Burchell (talk) 18:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

With your latest change, I think it's probably okay. --Yaush (talk) 18:39, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Niall Ferguson's WWII table[edit]

His table genuinely says "Russians" rather than Soviets?
And there should be a note on who these vague "Eastern Europeans" might be.
Varlaam (talk) 16:29, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

1952 POW Olympics[edit]

Why does this article redirect from 1952 POW Olympics - surely that deserves its own page? It also receives no mention... Brigade Piron (talk) 19:17, 19 June 2012 (UTC)

Claims regarding treatment of surrendering Germans[edit]

This statement is problematic:

Germans were often shot en masse when surrendering if one of them continued resisting or else the men were still armed. Other times, American soldiers shot Germans in cold blood. This became a particular problem because the latter were known to send unarmed men on patrols so they could claim they were surrendering if caught, but the Americans simply shot any enemy caught behind the lines. Veterans often blamed these excesses on inexperienced 18 and 19 year old replacements drafted towards the end of the war, but reliable information is lacking since everyone agreed that shooting prisoners was a subject best left undiscussed.

It's not that it's implausible; it's that it's unsourced and the admission that reliable information is lacking is virtually an admission that it's innuendo. If a cite to a reliable source is not appended reasonably quickly, I'm going to remove the entire statement. --Yaush (talk) 18:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Several months have passed and no source has been provided. It goes. --Yaush (talk) 16:20, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Photograph of monument to German POWs of First World War[edit]

The photograph captioned: "A memorial with text dedicating it to the 153,281 German Prisoners of War who died in Allied captivity 1914–1920" is problematic. The fate of German POWs in Allied captivity during the First World War is barely discussed in the article, and the figure of 153,281 dead in particular is nowhere discussed. Thus this photograph lacks essential context. For all we know, the sculpture is Nazi-era propaganda art. Then again, the figure may be reasonable; how are we to know? --Yaush (talk) 16:20, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

== Low ==

Some numbers are so low that they are hard to believe. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:16, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Under "World War II", 0.15% and 0.03% are too low. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

POWs of the World Civil Class & Race War on a Selection of Drug Users[edit]

It's high time we have a section on the slow motion holocaust that's consuming the lives of millions of POWs in our longest World War— the War on (a racially/ politically/ private industrially motivated selection of) Drugs. Kaecyy (talk) 18:05, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

WP:NOTAFORUM. --Yaush (talk) 18:35, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I fail to see how that's a relevant answer. Because buddy, if the US government has called it a war, and declared it, and it's a shooting war— all of which it has, and it is— then the World Civil Class & Race War on a Selection of Drug Users has PLENTY of POWs— ≈1,000,000 and counting in the USA alone. I say we add a section in. Kaecyy (talk) 10:06, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

French prisoners of war in World War II GA-nominated[edit]

Please participate in the review here: Talk:French prisoners of war in World War II/GA1. Thank you! walk victor falk talk 05:34, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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Nationalist Chinese reference under Western Allied section[edit]

There is roughly a paragraph under the Western Allied treatment of Japanese POW's during World War II, which cites torture and executions of Japanese soldiers by the Nationalist Chinese. Generally, Nationalist China isn't grouped as part of the Western Allies, which were Anglosphere/Francosphere countries, and the torture methods described were performed solely by Chinese. Should Nationalist China get its own heading/subheading? Powerman4999 (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 20:52, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Polish and Soviet POWs in Nazi camps[edit]

"especially many Polish and Soviet POWs who suffered harsh conditions and died in large numbers while in captivity" - it's unprecise, Poles were mistreated and forced to work, but not massively exterminated.Xx236 (talk) 07:47, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

Erich Hartmann[edit]

  1. Dead link.
  2. Stalin died in 1953, so 1955 doesn't make 3 years.Xx236 (talk) 10:21, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Poles in Soviet camps[edit]

"20,000 Polish military personnel and civilians" - it's not obvious which camps were used for Poles and if they were interned or imprisoned.Xx236 (talk) 10:23, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

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WWII POWs table, Japanese POWs left out[edit]

Section 5,first table. There is no mention whatsoever about Japanese POWs in the table, although the POWs HELD by the Japanese are mentioned in the death count. This doesn't seem exactly neutral, regarding the fact that there was a considerable amount of Japanese POWs, and their death toll percentage was substantial. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 18 December 2015 (UTC)

Definition too broad[edit]

Is there a requirement that the person being held in custody is foreign to the belligerent power, to be considered a POW? Or that the prisoner have been a member of the armed forces?

According to the definition as written -- "a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict" -- the Japanese Americans imprisoned by the American government during WWII would qualify as POWs. For that matter, somebody who robbed a bank during wartime and was sentenced to prison would also technically be a POW, under this definition.

The Wiktionary definition is: "A soldier or combatant who is captured by the enemy", which adds the enemy requirement, but also the requirement that the person be a combatant.

The ICRC legal definition of POW explicitly says "who have fallen into the power of the enemy", and lays out the specific cases where a non-combatant is considered a POW (merchant marines assisting a belligerent power, and such). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:20, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

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Water colour sketch of "Dusty" Rhodes, done in 3 minutes by Ashley George Old[edit]

Ashley George Old is one of the many FEPOW artists I have researched in depth. These artists only survived by making rapid drawings in hostile conditions. To be observed meant torture or death. Furthermore, I have had sight of the original work and accompanying documentation and can confirm the notation '3 minute sketch' is genuine.Tomintoul (talk) 18:16, 21 March 2016 (UTC)

The problem, User:Tomintoul, is that none of this is independently verifiable. Please find a verifiable and reliable source. --Yaush (talk) 18:26, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
Another editor has conducted 'original research' but stating that in his/her view the annotation '3 minute sketch' is forged. There is no verifiable and reliable source to support this claim – the fact I know the annotation is correct is irrelevant. The onus is on the claimant of forgery to prove his/her point.Tomintoul (talk) 09:01, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
The "3 minute sketch" forgery
The tallest of the tall tales. — Being a professional artist, I know more than well what can, and what cannot be done in 3 minutes. The WP:CAPTION was a classic WP:REDFLAG for me, therefore I looked closely at the artwork in question. And ... this is what I saw. The note about the quote-unquote: "3 minute sketch", written with a different colour pen, has been added by an undisclosed hand at a different time, because the author's real signature, done with a watercolour brush is right above it, easy to compare. It is written in a completely different style of handwriting. By the way, writing notes on other people artwork usually decreases the value of the original dramatically. That's why only an idiot would ever deface the original artwork in such a way. In the end, it is a Wikipedia issue of the complete absence of basic WP:VERIFIABILITY of the claim made by an online user. Poeticbent talk 14:06, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
Everything you have said is YOUR OPINION and hence original research, not allowed by Wiki. And as you say, why would anybody deface a piece of original art?Tomintoul (talk) 08:05, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
No. The WP:ORIGINAL RESEARCH is your preposterous personal assumption that "the earth is flat", because the forged little note under the watercolour says so. Poeticbent talk 13:35, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm going to propose a somewhat radical solution here: The article is not about Dusty Rhodes. It is not about Ashley George Old. There were many other works of art produced by many FEPOWs. Substitute one of them, which does not have an issue with possibly being defaced with an inaccurate claim, for this image in this article. --Yaush (talk) 13:50, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Why not simply delete the picture, which is out of place alongside the others and has litle if any relevance to the article's content? Bjenks (talk) 15:08, 23 March 2016 (UTC)\

The inclusion of an example of FEPOW art improves the article, but not crucially. It would be okay without it. --Yaush (talk) 16:23, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

The image enhances the article and is the only example of its type. I am perplexed as to why Poeticbent has become obsessed with his personal theory. Why would anyone deface such a work? This arist is one of many FEPOW artists I have researched and while my opinion may not be verifiable, Poeticbent's theory certainly isn't. Tomintoul (talk) 16:41, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

Perhaps this is a good time to remember that the original dispute was not over whether to include the portrait, or whether the three-minute notation on it is accurate or when it was placed on the portrait, but whether the Wikipedia caption for the picture in this article should repeat the claim that it was painted in three minutes.
That claim is disputed. It cannot be verified. It should therefore not be repeated in Wikpedia as a fact.
Any of the following would be acceptable resolutions for me:
  • Leave the picture but do not mention the three-minute claim in the caption.
  • Leave the picture and change the caption to state that it was allegedly completed in three minutes. This is verifiable the case, since the allegation is there on the picture.
  • Find a verifiable source substantiating the claim and properly cite it.
  • Substitute a different FEPOW art work. Tomintou says he has studied many FEPOW artists. Prove it. Find us another example suitable for this article that does not raise a debate.
  • Omit the art work entirely. It adds to the article, but not in any critical way.

The best resolution, in my opinion, is to find a verifiable source for the three-minute claim. Of course, that requires some effort. I'm not going to do it because I'm unfamiliar with the sources, am not that invested in having this picture in the article, and am lazy. So I'm guessing we'll pick one of the other resolutions. The one resolution I will not support is to leave the picture and the three-minute claim without a verifiable source cited to validate it. --Yaush (talk) 16:58, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

I will attempt to verify the claim in due course. Meanwhile, in the interests of harmony I am content that the picture remains but without the three-minute claim, as suggested byYaush Tomintoul (talk) 17:44, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

I'm fine with the three-minute claim as long as it is qualified as alleged. That much is verifiable. --Yaush (talk) 17:50, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
Sorry. The three-minute claim is not "alleged" ... It is a blatant act of forgery and a preposterous lie. However, even forgery needs a reliable third-party source by Wikipedia's core policy guidelines. Namely, description of how that forgery occurred in the first place. However, I'm by no means obsessed with it, only stunned by the level of ignorance displayed by User:Tomintoul. Poeticbent talk 20:34, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
We don't need that kind of vindictive and unverified assertion. At the 1951 Festival of Britain, I watched a sketch artist named "Quen" produce many lightning sketches, including one of my mother which is still in the family. At age 11, I had no stopwatch to put on the production, but three minutes would not be out of the question, and that is definitely not a "preposterous lie". Bjenks (talk) 02:19, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Tomintoul has offered to leave the picture, without mention of the three-minute claim in the Wiki caption, while he researches a verifiable source for the three-minute claim. That seems like a reasonable resolution for now. Any disagreement? --Yaush (talk) 14:10, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

These are words from the introduction to the Major Moon Collection catalogue, which featured many of Old's works: Old, with his high skill in realistic portrayal, commitment to accurate detail, and ability to create high art from scenes of suffering, executed forty-four of these works. I suspect the annotation '3 minute sketch' was added by Old himself as he wouldn't have been satisfied with the quality of the work and wanted to make it clear it was a quick sketch. Tomintoul (talk) 21:53, 28 March 2016 (UTC)

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Deaths in Japanese POW camps[edit]

The statistics concerning POWs who died in Japanese custody are contradictory. We see death rates of 27,33, and 40 percent cited -- and the sources for some of these stats are not very good -- an interview with an ex-POW by a New Orleans newspaper, for example. I'll see what I can do to fix this section. Smallchief (talk 00:38, 27 April 2016 (UTC)