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Author Topic: "Inquirer's Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc writes 30"  (Read 1045 times)
Justine Aragones
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« on: December 26, 2015, 09:56:11 PM »

I wonder why number 30 is used to refer to the passing of a journalist as in "Inquirer's Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc writes 30"?
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Joe Carillo
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 12:23:58 AM »

Before the advent of electronic word processors, there was a tradition among journalists and publicity agents to manually type the symbol "-30-" to indicate the end of their working manuscript for news, feature stories, and press releases. The symbol was not used in the published form of their work, but the phrase "writes 30" eventually became idiomatic shorthand for reporting or indicating--especially in headlines for news or feature stories--the death of a fellow journalist. Not many lay readers know what the symbol stands for, of course, and hardly any publication bothers anymore to at least put a footnote to explain the usage, but some newspapers and magazines feel obliged to use it as a form of tribute--a stock-in-trade--to an esteemed fellow journalist who has died. This is the case for the "writes 30" headlines used recently by the Philippine Daily Inquirer for its stories announcing the passing away of their editor, Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc.

In Hadass Kogan's "So Why Not 29?", which appears in the American Journalism Review archives, you will find a very interesting story about the origins and evolution of the "-30-" and "writes 30" usage in journalism. Simply click this link to read it.
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Justine Aragones
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 06:50:23 PM »

Thank you Sir and Happy New Year!
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