Breaking the 140-character barrier is going to take a kind of stamina I have never tried to muster

With Twitter, Facebook and other blogging platforms, every written word and published item is increasingly rushed. That’s why I have decided that it will be an interesting experiment to try to slow down and write something that has length and, hopefully, longevity.

AS a modern journalist, I have been trained to have a short attention span. Twitter has taken that to a whole new level. It’s a self-styled “micro-blogging” platform and lets you share the interesting things going on around you in 140 characters in an instant.

But I have been thinking seriously about trying to write something more substantial than a tweet or a few paragraphs of a blog.

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Local journalism – the weird and wacky stories that, unbelievably, make the cut

From swimming guinea pigs to custard shortages, Britain’s newspapers have everything covered.

After spotting the excellently titled “Whitstable Mum In Custard Shortage: …And Other World Exclusives From Britain’s Finest Local Newspapers” in Sainsbury’s – I had a thumb through it.

It’s a collection of absurd stories from around Britain and it’s very funny and very familiar, if you’re interested in local journalism. (The story that the title is derived from is a good read, especially the comments section).

Now, I have a soft spot for Aberystwyth, having done an exchange year at the university there.

Not only does the book contain Aberystwyth’s Cambrian News headline “I didn’t know guinea pigs could swim!” but it also contains a story from the newspaper I used to work for, the Surrey Advertiser. I don’t have a copy of the story, but it ran under the headline “Mystery after hanging basket stolen – then returned”.

Researching the book online led me to another brilliant discovery.

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