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In a world characterized by impersonal and sometimes distant interactions over the phone or email, Fleet Street in central London remained a place where journalists (amateur and professional) gathered to ruminate about the news and just about any topic that came to mind. For more than 300 years, the area was the nerve center of British journalism, as it served as the home of many of the country's leading newspapers. The death-knell for this era effectively ended this past Wednesday as the last major news office on the street closed its doors for good. A variety of technological improvements in the past several decades allowed newspapers to move their primary publishing plants outside of the area, and this part of central London is primarily a legal and banking center. As the former editor of the Daily Mirror commented, "You can practice journalism anywhere. It's become an electronic industry now, not so much with people going out into the towns and streets and telephoning their copy back to the office." There were several special events planned this week to mark this event, including a service held at St. Bride's, which is known as a journalists' church in the area.The first link leads to a story from Newsday which talks about the recent demise of Fleet Street as a hub for journalists and news agencies. The second link leads to a story from the BBC regarding the church service held to mark the departure of Reuters from Fleet Street this past week. The third story is from the Guardian, and offers some first-hand recollections of Fleet Street from Mark Oliver, along with a few helpful hypertext links. The fourth link allows visitors the ability to listen to a feature from NPR's Morning Edition about Fleet Street. The fifth link takes visitors to the homepage of St. Brides, popularly known as the "journalists' church" in the Fleet Street area. The sixth and final link will take users to a page that provides a bit of information about the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese pub, a gathering place for salty journalists and other such curmudgeons.
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