Newsrooms today aren't as loud as they used to be, as laptops and email have usurped phones and typewriters, but the Rupert Murdoch-owned Times newspaper is looking to change that. As the Independent reports, a large speaker in the middle of the Times' London newsroom has begun playing audio of typewriter sounds as a way to motivate the paper's reporters. The track begins with the sound of a lone typewriter, before gradually building to a crescendo of furious tapping and punching as the print deadline nears.
@johnnypaige @SophieWarnes no I love it greatly, especially with it being so close to my desk pic.twitter.com/JPCngd90xh— Jules Mattsson (@julesmattsson) August 26, 2014
News UK, the Times' publisher, described the move as a "trial," with deputy head of digital Lucia Adams telling the Independent that it all began as "a playful idea." Reaction from Times reporters appears to be mixed — one staffer unsuccessfully tried to turn the speaker off — but former Times journalist and University of Central Lancashire lecturer Michael Williams said it could help reconnect today's reporters with the excitement of a bygone era.
"People feel to some extent disengaged from the thrill of producing a newspaper, which is galvanizing," Williams told the Independent.