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Talking points: The end of Twitter, Moomins and Paxman




So after 25 years, Paxman and his beard have left the BBC building. Well, nearly – although he won’t be presenting Newsnight anymore, we can sleep sound in the knowledge that the grand inquisitor will still be grilling the nation’s students on University Challenge. But can Newsnight survive without him? Dan Hodges, writing in the Telegraph, isn’t sure.

‘The reality is that the show has never fully recovered from the fall-out from the Savile and McAlpine scandals. New producer Ian Katz has embarked on a brave – some would say foolhardy – attempt to refresh the brand. But the moment Kirsty Wark closed the program’s Hallowe'en edition by dancing to Thriller, Newsnight officially jumped the shark. Or moon-walked over it, rather.’


Another day, and another few (hundred) Ukip pieces hit the web, the majority of which bandy around accusations of racism.  But hurling insults isn’t going to stop the rise of this party, says Tim Montgomerie in The Times (£). Instead, we should try and understand the desperation of the voters who have been driven into Farage’s camp, particularly in eight key areas.

‘Ukip represents something more enduring than an explosion of hate. If it is to be defeated it would be wise to investigate why so many voters are turning to it. There will be no cure without correct diagnosis. And lest readers be in any doubt, I want there to be a cure.’


The days of thinking in 140 characters may soon be over; there is change afoot at Twitter. Sure, earnings are up and new users continue to join, but significantly, we’re all using it less. Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer in the Atlantic think Twitter is ‘entering its twilight’

‘Twitter used to be a sort of surrogate newsroom/barroom where you could organize around ideas with people whose opinions you wanted to assess. Maybe you wouldn't agree with everybody, but that was part of the fun. But at some point Twitter narratives started to look the same. The crowd became predictable, and not in a good way. Too much of Twitter was cruel and petty and fake. 


A Japanese café has come up with an ingenious plan to combat the loneliness of solo diners. Plonk a giant stuffed Moomin opposite them.


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