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The 'Times' Of London Reverts To Type To Motivate Reporters

The newsroom of Radio Free Europe in 1971, when typewriters were the technology of choice.
The newsroom of Radio Free Europe in 1971, when typewriters were the technology of choice.

In a striking display of confidence in the sensory impact of old-school technology, the Times of London has set up speakers in its newsroom to broadcast the sound of typewriters clicketing and clacking to inspire reporters to buckle down for deadline, according to The Independent newspaper.

The sound starts with just one mellow typewriter and builds to an insistent clamor as press time approaches, the Independent reports.

The tall speakers were a surprise to the journalists, given that typewriters haven't been heard in newsrooms since the 1980s.

The Murdoch-owned Times calls the scheme a "trial," and the paper's deputy head of digital news called it "a playful idea," but it remains to be seen whether reporters will work harder and faster to background music of typewriter keys hammering out stories the old-fashioned way.

Former Times journalist George Brock was skeptical.

"Typewriters disappeared from newsrooms in the late 1980s," Brock told the Independent. "There will be very few people there who remember the noise of massed bands of typewriters in the newsroom."

Times employee Jules Mattsson tweeted a photo of one of the newsroom speakers.

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