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What online news looked like on 9/11

With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube yet to come, newspapers and TV sites played pivotal role

  • Fox News So understated given the circumstances. So unlike the FOX we've come to know.
  • CNN Note that there’s no video, and no live feed from CNN’s television coverage. WayBack link.
  • New York Times Time on the page is 7:45 p.m. This was the only one of the sample sites showing the twin towers already down. WayBack link.
  • Sites looked primitive by today’s standards There was no Twitter, Facebook or YouTube on Sept. 11, 2001. Google News was a year from launch. And while most everyone stayed glued to their TV sets to watch the unfolding horror, there still was plentiful coverage online. The Internet Archive WayBack Machine doesn't crawl all news sites, and some of those that it does weren't recorded on 9/11, but what follows is a representative sample of how the sites looked on that day. Included are CNN, the New York Times, FOX News, Reuters and the BBC.
  • BBC Site invites readers to "Send in your eyewitness accounts and reactions," a practice that has become commonplace today.
  • Los Angeles Times Under the headline “All Air Travel Is Grounded Nationwide” is this prediction: “Travel experts expect a permanent increase in security.” WayBack link.
  • Yahoo The worst of the bunch, hands down.
  • Wired A Sept. 14 page carries these two headlines: "Senate OKs FBI Net Spying" and "Passengers: Delays Worth The Wait."
  • Boston.com Although the WayBack Machine dates this one Sept. 11, the page itself says Sept. 12. WayBack link.
  • Reuters Small box lower left notes that it was the 150th anniversary of the news service and invites readers to "Get Reuters News on your PDA."
  • Chicago Sun-Times Mention of Bin Laden in the second paragraph reinforces how immediately U.S. officials knew who was responsible. WayBack link.
  • CNET This page is dated Sept. 13 and shows that even the technology sites were given over to news of the attacks.
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