Just as Wall Street is synonymous with banking and the stock market in the United States, Fleet Street symbolizes the British newspaper industry. But tomorrow, the street will lose the last of its international newsrooms, that of Agence France-Presse, as the agency follows the diaspora of other news organizations and moves its journalism headquarters to a less expensive, more technologically capable newsroom.
With the French agency goes the essence of traditional journalism, said the former editor of the Daily Mirror, according to AFP:
Fleet Street represents the past in every way: the way we produce newspapers and the way we produce journalism…Clattering typewriters, hot metal, the smell of ink, the thunder of the lorries delivering the rolls of newsprint and the more-or-less 24-hour drinking.
And though these organizations are yet to pull the plug on their print editions, it’s only a matter of time before the Internets crisscrossing cyberspace in invisible webs all around us become the new metonym.