The Times of London is now pumping typewriter sounds into the newsroom.
“This is just a playful experiment thought up by our Editor to generate some of the excitement of newsrooms,” a Times spokesperson tells me. “Some reporters are bemused and some like the hat-tip to our historic past now that digital deadlines are so fluid. We are very much a digital newsroom, see here, but we’re also one of the oldest newspapers in the world – 230 years in January – and we were the first to use The Times in the title, so we’re proud of our heritage.”
A journalism professor and former Times staffer points out:
Typewriters disappeared from newsrooms in the late 1980s. There will be very few people there who remember the noise of massed bands of typewriters in the newsroom. They will have to find out whether a crescendo of noise will make reporters work better or faster.
* Murdoch’s UK paper adds the sounds of Fleet Street to its newsroom (independent.co.uk)
* How about adding wire service teletype machine bells, too? (baltimoresun.com)
Update: Check out the photo of the speaker pumping out the typewriter sounds – and don’t miss the replies to the tweet, including: “Why don’ t they just pipe in the noise of screaming tortured souls in hell?”
“Gannett thinks that advertisers still want ads that hit users over the head.”
Go to USAToday.com or any Gannett-owned newspaper website and you’ll get a full-screen ad blocking what you’re trying to read.
“We want to make the entire [computer] screen a TV set,” says Steve Ahlberg, Gannett’s Vice President of Revenue Solutions.
Okay, Steve, then consider Gannett a blocked channel.
* Gannett looks to ignite the return of the giant banner ad (wsj.com)
University of Toronto professor’s tweet
Gazette editor-in-chief Iain Boekhoff (left) says of the story: “I’m surprised it’s got so much traction because it’s in our frosh week issue every year. Two years ago it was just straight ‘how to have sex with your TA’ as one of the 50 or 100 things to do before you leave Western. …I had one complaint late Sunday night which is after three days of people losing their minds on Twitter. This thing is entirely Twitter. I don’t regret publishing it. I regret that it caused offense to so many people, and it wasn’t well-received by some people.”
He adds that “Facebook stalk is a common term for students and is not a malicious term in any way.”
The London (Ontario, Canada) Abused Women’s Center has called for Boekhoff to step down. I’ve asked him to comment.
The provost says: “The Gazette has the right to run provocative articles but I find it objectionable that your paper would publish a column promoting the idea that students should attempt to have inappropriate relationships with graduate teaching assistants.”
* Western University runs article about dating teaching assistants (metronews.ca)
* So you want to date a teaching assistant? (westerngazette.ca)
* Western University’s provost blasts the article in a letter to the paper (westerngazette.ca)
From the Archives: Ten years ago today, Jay Rosen wrote to me about Jack Shafer and why the Slate press critic (at that time) hasn’t emerged as the next A.J. Liebling. Rosen wrote on August 26, 2004:
A.J. Liebling wrote the Wayward Press column for the New Yorker. Shafer writes the Press Box column for Slate. Those are roughly similar activities. Shafer tells us that Liebling did 82 press columns over 18 years at the New Yorker.
Jack Shafer (left) and Jay Rosen
Judging by the Press Box archive, Shafer has written 200+ columns over four and a half years. Is it fair to ask: why has Shafer himself not emerged as the “next” Liebling? After all, he has the most interest in the question. The opportunity has been there for him, week to week. He had motive, means. Is it the anxiety of influence? Other priorities at the time? Lack of competition, perhaps?
Rosen sent his letter after he was targeted by Shafer, who wrote: “Instead of producing the next Liebling, the field of journalism saddles us with the worry-bead analysis of Tom Rosenstiel and the goo-goo intentions of Jay Rosen, for which there is no audience outside the industry (maybe not even inside it).”
* Romenesko Letters: Jay Rosen has a question about Jack Shafer (archive.org)
* Shafer on the uncritical worshippers of press critic A.J. Liebling (slate.com)