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Move to 'print' scheduling

Times online will no longer carry breaking news

The Times websiteThe Times has declared that it will no longer report breaking news on its website. In an extraordinary move to treat online readers like print readers it will instead publish three updated “editions” each day.

The paper has redesigned its website around one edition which will now only be updated at 9 am, mid-day and 5 pm. At weekends it will be updated at mid-day and 6pm.

Defending the decision to echo old printing schedules, editor John Witherow said: “The power of an edition has endured at The Times and The Sunday Times for 230 years. Our challenge is to update this concept for the digital age.”

The Times newspapers have recently declared a turnaround in fortunes, though some in the industry are questioning how they have achieved a £10.9m profit with no obvious cutbacks as experienced by rival titles.

The Guardian, for instance, is cutting 250 staff in a move designed to reduce operating costs by £54m.

The changes introduced by The Times online, which charges its readers to wait for the news, was welcomed by Terry Murden, editor of the free-to-access Daily Business which recorded more than 135,000 page views in the last month.

Mr Murden pledged that the Edinburgh-based site will continue to break news as it happens in keeping with modern reader demands.

“Readers like the immediacy of our news coverage and the regular updating of breaking news.

“In an age of Twitter and Facebook, which also break news as it happens, it is rather peculiar for any news organisation to believe its readers will wait for it to carry the news as if we were still in the 1970s.”

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