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UK's Guardian to Go Twitter-Only - Newspaper Death Watch » Newspaper Death Watch
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By paulgillin | April 1, 2009 - 7:54 am - Posted in Facebook, Hyper-local

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The Guardian announced today that it will cease print publication after 188 years and go Twitter-only. All future content will be formatted to less than 140 characters and the newspaper has launched an ambitious effort to retweet its entire archive. 

“[Celebrated Guardian editor] CP Scott would have warmly endorsed this – his well-known observation ‘Comment is free but facts are sacred’ is only 36 characters long,” a spokesman said in a tweet that was itself only 135 characters long.”

The newspaper says it has found that many events that had previously required thousands of words to describe could be more efficiently communicated within the 140-character limit. For example, it has summarized its coverage of the JFK assassination as “JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?”

The Guardian‘s decision is a bold move, but tough times call for tough decisions.

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8 Comments

  1. April 1, 2009 @ 12:55 pm



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    Too bad it’s only a joke. Think how easy it would be for the politicians who craft soundbites for TV and radio. Just take a complex issue and sum it up with a clever, oversimplified remark.

    And for readers who can’t be bothered with any complexity – especially GW Bush. Maybe he would’ve been a better president with Twitterized news.

    Posted by
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    Stan Spire
  2. April 1, 2009 @ 1:38 pm



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    I was still drinking my first cup of coffee at my computer this morning when I guffawed.

    They should be liable for the cost of the paper towels… 🙂

    Posted by
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    msbpodcast
  3. April 1, 2009 @ 2:48 pm



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    I think editorials SHOULD go twitter only. How many characters do you need to say “people ought to behave themselves” and “weatherize your home before winter sets in.”

    Posted by
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    Quixotic Chick
  4. April 1, 2009 @ 4:15 pm



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    The Mountain Xpress alt-weekly paper in Asheville, NC, is doing the same thing, but with a bit more devotion. Their frontpage is set up with a Twitter feed. Kind of clever. http://www.mountainx.com

    Posted by
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    Steve
  5. April 1, 2009 @ 5:57 pm



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    was able to withstand close to eight hours without being a complete April Fool. thanks! the entire newsroom is laughing at my expense.

    Posted by
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    April Jack-ass!
  6. April 1, 2009 @ 11:25 pm



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    […] I was intrigued to read an article today titled UK’s Guardian to Go Twitter-Only. […]

    Posted by
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    Could a newspaper go Twitter-only? | Social Media Club
  7. April 2, 2009 @ 4:03 pm



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    This is an instant classic. Too bad it will probably be true in about… four months.

    Posted by
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    George Snell
  8. March 16, 2011 @ 2:08 am



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    […] presto riconosciuto come il formato ideale per il giornalismo futuro e qualcuno, probabilmente, si era bevuto la notizia. Quell’annuncio, però, non fu uno scherzo fine a se stesso, ma contribuì al […]

    Posted by
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    Settantatre modi di seguire il Guardian su Twitter « EJO – European Journalism Observatory

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