‘-30-‘ … what does it mean?

Posted: March 24, 2022 in Life, Political musings
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have been following an interesting online discussion about use of -30- at the end of an obituary for a newspaper colleague.

-30- has been traditionally used by journalists to indicate the end of a story or article that is submitted for editing and typesetting.

19th century railway telegraphic code indicated -30- as code for “No more – the end”.

A poignant example appeared in a sketch by famed WWII cartoonist Bill Mauldin who, in paying tribute to equally famed WWII battle correspondent Ernie Pyle just killed in action in the Pacific War by a Japanese sniper, simply drew an old-style correspondent’s typewriter with a half-rolled sheet of paper that showed simply

“Ernie Pyle
-30- “.

This raises the question of why the number 30 was chosen by 19th century telegraphers to represent “the end”. Folk etymology has it that it may have been a joking reference to the Biblical Book of John 19:30, which, in the popular King James Version, appears as: “30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

Rest in peace, Oksana Baulina

Ironic timing, indeed as we read today that a prominent and highly-regarded Russian journalist has been killed during shelling by Russian forces in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Oksana Baulina had been reporting from Kyiv and the western city of Lviv for the courageous Russian investigative website The Insider, the outlet said in a statement. She died while filming damage in the city’s Podil district, it added.

Baulina previously worked for Russian opposition hero Alexei Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation, and had left Russia.

Last year the foundation was outrageously made illegal and branded extremist by the authorities, forcing many of its staff to flee abroad.

One other person was killed and two others injured in the shelling, the Insider said.

Baulina had previously sent several reports from Kyiv and the western Ukrainian city of Lviv. The publication expressed its “deepest condolences” to the reporter’s family and friends.

The debt we owe brave journalists reporting the ongoing massacre of innocents in #Ukraine is massive.

So far Baulina is one of five journalists known to have been killed in a month of war.

In early March Yevhenii Sakun, a camera operator for Ukrainian TV channel LIVE who also worked for the Spanish news agency EFE, was killed during shelling of the TV transmission tower in Kyiv.

Two weeks later US journalist and filmmaker Brent Renaud, 50, was shot dead as he was filming in the town of Irpin outside Kyiv.

And two days later two Fox News journalists – cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, 55, and Oleksandra Kuvshinova, 24 – were killed when their vehicle was struck by incoming fire on the outskirts of Kyiv.

-30-

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