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The Times is playing typewriter sound effects in the newsroom

The Times is playing typewriter sound effects in the newsroom

Tom Hanks isn't the only one who likes the sound of a good old-fashioned typewriter. 

The New York Times is testing out the idea of pumping out audio of typewriters in the newsroom to help keep its journalists on pace with their deadlines.

From the Independent:

To the surprise of Times journalists, a tall speaker on a stand has been erected in the newsroom to pump out typewriter sounds, to increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines. The audio begins with the gentle patter of a single typewriter and slowly builds to a crescendo, with the keys of ranks of machines hammering down as the paper’s print edition is due to go to press.

But not everyone is convinced that current Times' journalists will be thrilled with the throwback and nostalgia. Former Times writer George Brock says:

“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,” he said. “They will have to find out whether a crescendo of noise will make reporters work better or faster.”

Either way, the trial seems harmless enough, so it's worth a shot.

The introduction of the typewriter speaker was “a playful idea”, said Lucia Adams, deputy head of digital for The Times and Sunday Times. “Technology has always been an important part of what The Times has done and the typewriter might be an old technology but it’s still a technology.”

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