In the Age of Dinosaurs a designated editor at the local newspaper would venture into a noisy cubicle or soundproofed closet and consult the machine within as if it were an oracle, monitoring the day’s stories streaming across “the wire.”
The clattering machine, provided by one of the two major wire services of the day, spat out a stream of stories ranging from ocean liner schedules to presidential assassinations in a never-ending roll – “important” stories preceded by the sharp “ting ting ting” of bells heralding their value to the news desk.
Today, it’s all done by computer, but we made sure to retain the bell system since we were whelped on it, and our palms still sweat on the rare occasion a four or five-bell yarn crosses the wire.
Each morning, a single bell announced the arrival of the daily “Bullet,” a breakdown of stories of importance to news editors for that day, and a standard in morning budget meetings when groups of editors met to decide what would appear hours later in their newspaper. It was short and to the point.
Things move a little more quickly in our newsroom these days, and the rigidity of The Bullet tends to lose significance in a New Age of four-second deadlines and almost real-time reporting.
But it’s still fun to roll back time every once in awhile. With that, here’s the A.M. Bullet for Wednesday, April 6, 2016 – ting.
- Minivan inbound from Lafayette to Orinda around 9:37 p.m. Tuesday strays into opposing lanes, eventually plows into fence at Orchard Rd. and Moraga Way. Neighbors not pleased. Police have teachable moment with driver.
- Dead coyote reported at Moraga Road and Corliss… sorry, Wily.
- Neighborhood detectives respond to police request for help in identifying burglary vehicle. Not a Jaguar, they say, but a Hyundai.
- National Weather Service advises peak temperatures in the high 80s in most of the 24/680 Wednesday, with wet weather ahead later in the week.
- Walnut Creek burglar swallows stolen wedding band – gives it up the hard way.
- 6.0 earthquake rumbles through Bunisari, Indonesia – no reports of casualties.
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