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March 31, 2008

Lancashire Telegraph launches free SMS news alerts

By Martin Stabe wirepost

More than 800 people have already subscribed to the free text message news alerts service launched by the Lancashire Telegraph last Wednesday, How-Do reports.

The paper is offering free text alerts for seven local areas and three football clubs as part of a project reportedly being watched closely by parent company Newsquest.

BBC News, Sky News, Guardian, Telegraph are among national news outlets that already offer text alerts, but unlike the Lancashire Telegraph’s new service, these are all paid for by the reader.

Free text services have been used by several news outlets for one-off coverage of major news stories. Earlier this month The Times provided free text message coverage of the budget announcement. The Express & Echo in Exeter used mobile alerts as part of its coverage of a recent rape trial.

Some news outlets, including regional newspapers like the Southport Visiter, are also experimenting with using the mobile microblogging service Twitter to push links to web headlines to mobile users.

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