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The Joy of Text: Teletext and Ceefax say goodbye

  1. In the summer of 2000 I joined Teletext, the television based news and information service. It was a time of expansion, and a time when 18 million people a week were viewing our content.

    Sadly the 1970s tech is coming to the end of the road as today analogue Ceefax follows Teletext into the interactive platform in the sky.
  2. Based in Tardis-like offices in Farm Lane, Fulham – squirrelled behind a coffin-maker and Mercedes garage, was the pre-cursor of rolling news, of Twitter and for many people the way in which they found out the latest news, sport, weather.Despite rumours to the contrary – at least if the calls to the Duty Desk were anything to go by , Teletext was staffed by experienced journalists, experts in their field and some very, very good writers.And despite the limitations of the service, the ability to tell any story in 80 words is a journalistic skill that shouldn’t be undervalued.

    Our sections had the kind of passionate following that the likes of Tumblr and Twitter enjoy now. Among them Planet Sound, GamesCentral and of course, Bamboozle.
  3. Share
    Sad day at KX Towers – we’ve just realised we’ll never play Bamboozle ever again! RIP Ceefax & Teletext
    Wed, Apr 18 2012 05:21:01
  4. Share
    Ceefax switched off today! If you love Twitter, take moment to nod at Ceefax’s wake. Pre-web, it was original real-time information network.
    Wed, Apr 18 2012 02:43:02
  5. The CMS we created pages on was called Plasma, eventually replaced by Magenta (which I believe is still being used by BSkyB). It was clunky, but it was fun. So as someone who used to handle the repaginations, put up the lottery results, write stories, which used to annoy the hell out of viewers, we pay tribute to this unheralded service. The first truly interactive TV app.The benefits of the service are summed up brilliantly in Matthew Engel’s tribute.
  6. Share
    Today’s the day that Ceefax is switched off – a generation of men remember afternoons before Soccer Saturday waiting for score updates
    Wed, Apr 18 2012 04:23:15
  7. Share

    RT @playupfootball: RIP Ceefax, especially page 302! http://yfrog.com/kee6qpij
    Wed, Apr 18 2012 04:58:12
  8. But despite being the end of an era, it’s still rivalling the web in some parts of Scandanivia.
  9. Share
    @RobHP Always thought Ceefax white and cyan text = very cold! Twitter could do with fastext too.
    Tue, Apr 17 2012 17:06:49
  10. So farewell in-vision goal tickers, vidi-printers, cricket score boxes and fastext quizzes. Goodbye mix buttons and half and full pages. Goodbye searching for an update on a news story you’d just heard a fraction of on the radio. Farewell showbiz gossip and film reviews.
    Yes we replaced you with the Internet and the second screen but I, for one, will miss you (though not editing the letters page)

    And if you’re wondering just what the hell I’ve been wittering on about – relive the joy of text here.



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