On the Same Day: London Paper Opens API, Announces Publication is Closing

Adam DuVander
Sep. 10 2009, 12:47AM EDT

The free evening newspaper The London Paper made headlines itself recently, for two seemingly contradictory reasons. First, New Media Age reported thelondonpaper is launching an API. Then, further reports later that same day said it will cease publishing in less than a month.

thelondonpaper

It seems to be a case of the business department not talking to the technical department. The paper, which is about to celebrate its third year, has well known financial issues. Both announcements were likely meant as solutions to the problem. In one case, embrace content distribution. In another, embrace reality.

The paper's API is linked from the footer on every page, but redirects to a "coming soon" message. It is currently in a testing phase with select partners who are--or, possibly were--planning to integrate the paper's content with their sites. As of now, the paper continues to publish as before, with no mention of its impending shut-down.

If the API had lived to be open to everyone, it may have aimed to be something like the Guardian's Open Platform (our Guardian API profile), which provides access to its article archives, as well as the Data Store of publicly-available data compiled by its editors.

Hat tip: Ciaran Norris

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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