Press Association reveals Thatcher death news and ITV News is first to break it on Twitter

ITV News appeared to be the first major national news organisation to reveal  Margaret Thatcher’s death to the public after a Press Association newsflash.

Press Association broke the news of Baroness Thatcher's death to its subscribers after receiving a call from her spokesman Lord Bell. 

His statement said: "It is with great sadness that Mark and Carol Thatcher announced that their mother Baroness Thatcher died peacefully following a stroke this morning. A further statement will be made later."

ITV's Twitter feed, @ITVNews, broke the news with a link to a short story at 12.48pm today – a minute after PA put out the news.

Press Association news editor Wesley Johnson wrote the newsflash, which subsequently ran on the wire, after PA took a call from Lord Bell.

Johnson said: “When you send a snap like that you know you are reporting something historic.”

ITV News was closely followed by BBC Breaking News, The Sun, The Times, Huffington Post, Daily Express and Daily Star which tweeted the news at 12.49pm.

The UK’s two biggest national newspaper websites – the MailOnline and Guardian.co.uk – both waited more than 40 minutes to tweet links to larger write-ups on the news.

Only a handful of evening newspapers carried the news in print today. Most UK regional dailies have switched to morning publication in recent years.

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The Evening Standard, which normally goes to press at around 11am, managed to get three pages of coverage later on in its print run and ended up with nine pages on the story

The Carlisle News and Star brought out a special edition, two hours after the news was announced.

Associate editor Anne Pickles said: "Delightfully old fashioned these days, I know. But publishing on site, on the day, as news breaks, is what good editorial practice was always meant to be.

"We're in a tiny minority. Very few newspaper groups have the ability to react immediately now... progress has dictated off-site overnight printing for so many regionals.

"It's a progress that strikes the 'news' from newspaper."

The Express and Star in Wolverhampton and the Shropshire Star also brought out special editions including Thatcher coverage today. 

In Aberdeeen, the Evening Express must have been one of the first titles to get the Thatcher news into print - it had the story on the streets by 1.45pm.

 

Big regional dailies to not bring out a special editions included the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo and Brighton Argus.

Here is a list of national news organisation Margaret Thatcher tweets in the order they appeared:

12.47 – Press Association wire post

12.48 – @ITVNews

12.49 – @BBCBreaking, @TheSunNewspaper, @TheTimes, @HuffPostUK, @Daily_Star, @Daily_Express

12.50 – @Channel4News, @TelegraphNews, @SkyNews, @PressAssoc

12.54 – @Independent

13.01 – @EveningStandard, @FT

13.12pm – @DailyMirror

13.29 – @Guardian

13.34 – @MailOnline

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