Wick Communications

Reading news on your computer?

In Online media on 28 Mar 2013 at 4:22 pm

Screen Shot 2013-03-27 at 3.21.55 PM

“Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee and turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper,” says the smiling television anchor from 1981. “Well, it’s not as far-fetched as it might seem.”

Argus-Observer Publisher John Dillon shared the video with me the other day. It’s funny to watch with today’s eyes. The dial phone… the tiny screens on computers that seem to come from a 1952 sci-fi movie… the anchorwoman’s smirk of condescension over the whole thing. Boy, have we come a long way in a short time.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the willingness to experiment in the news business. It may be true that newspapers didn’t fully embrace new technologies in the intervening years, but it’s also true that we suffered from a collective hubris for a while, thinking that we in the news business were exceptional in some way. It’s also true that there were entrepreneurial thinkers along the way – a couple of whom are featured in the video.

The old news report ends when the anchorwoman says it takes two hours to download the newspaper via phone lines. “And with an hourly use charge of $5, the new ‘tele-paper’ won’t be much competition for the 20-cent street edition.”

Oh, how times have changed.



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