News Report from 1981 about Online Newspapers


This is a great piece of digital history. In 1981, newspapers were exploring the possibility of people using their computers to read the news. KRON 4’s Steve Newman was there to report. The most amazing part of this story isn’t that people would try to use the service in 1981, but that newspapers had the discretionary income to even attempt this.

It took 2 hours to download the “telepaper” back in 81. We have come a long way.


Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

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7 thoughts on “News Report from 1981 about Online Newspapers

  1. Atari Adventure Square says:

    No photos or comics?
    No problem.

    No ads?
    “Kill it! Kill it dead! With fire!”

    Not surprised today’s online papers aren’t much of an improvement in terms of getting accurate, up-to-date information.
    I still think my browser’s RSS feeds are tops.
    Just merge the desired sources, take out the extraneous logos and graphics and (at times generic) pics and you have the newspaper of the future…today.

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