Yesterday the Daily Mail (as well as many other news outlets) announced that the last typewriter factory, Godrej and Boyce in India, was "closing its doors" bringing to an end the age of typewriter production. A quick Google search reveals that story quickly spread to over 70 other websites across the world. And why not, its an important story indeed, the end of an era with a number of consequences. How are hipsters going to write their poetry now for example? There is just one problem with the story however, its totally wrong.
For a start Godrej and Boyce had already stopped production a couple of years ago but more importantly there are still quite a few typewriter manufacturers still in existence around the world, two in the US alone and others in Japan and China and probably elsewhere. It took me about 2 minutes on Google to find this out by the way.
I find this kind of lazy journalism appalling, i suspect Godrej and Boyce put out a press release about their stocks of typewriters getting low and claiming they were the last factory still around and it was picked up by someone desperate to feed the insatiable modern media machine who took it as gospel and thought "Aha the end of typewriters, that will make a good story!"
Its such a shame the writer did not bother to do any original research and now thousands if not millions of people around the world have read an incorrect story with corrections and retractions somewhat hard to find (rather apt as it involves typewriters perhaps?) I will be charitable to the original writer and assume they were lazy and did not go ahead with the story even knowing it was false.
Why am i getting het up about typewriters? Well i am not but unfortunately this kind of journalism goes on everyday with all sorts of stories, many of them far more important than typewriters and has for years. At least thanks to the internet those so inclined now can check facts for themselves but unfortunately the majority do not have the time or can be bothered to do so. However i wonder if this kind of false information is becoming more widespread as the media monster grows ever bigger and hungrier and the demand for stories grows and grows...