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For the episode of The Wire see –30– (The Wire). For the 1959 film, see -30- (film).

–30– has been traditionally used by journalists to indicate the end of a story. There are many theories about how the usage came into being,[1]e.g. It was telegraphic shorthand to signify the end of a story in the Civil War era.[2] Other theories include that the "-30-" originated when stories were written in longhand; X marked the end of a sentence, XX the end of a paragraph, and XXX meant the end of a story. The Roman numerals XXX translate to 30.

The expression "No 30" at the end of a page (or a transmitted submission) signifies that the story isn't completed, and the recipient is to expect additional material. This helps to avoid inadvertent truncation.

In popular culture

  • -30- (film), a motion picture about work in a Los Angeles newspaper
  • –30– (The Wire), the series finale of the television series The Wire concluding a final season concerned with the work of a newspaper.
  • "30" (Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode), an episode of the television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent about a poisoned reporter. The title employs irony as this is the end of the reporter's life.
  • In several Superman stories from various titles, failure by a Daily Planet employee to use this signature proved to be a plot point revealing a character's impersonation, mind control, etc.
  • The title of –30–: The Collapse of the Great American Newspaper is taken from this practice.
  • –30– was the title of the editorial in the 30th and final issue of Steve Jackson Games' Roleplayer, a newsletter which supported the GURPS game during the late 1980s.
  • At the end of the 1952 film, Park Row, about the birth of the New York Globe in 1886, the film ends with the word "THIRTY" displayed instead of "THE END".


  1. ^ Kogan, Hadass "So Why Not 29" American Journalism Review. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
  2. ^ "WESTERN UNION "92 CODE" & WOOD'S "TELEGRAPHIC NUMERALS"". Signal Corps Association. 1996. Retrieved 2008-02-25.  

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