The Print Media Future of 1981


A recently unearthed news report from over 25 years ago wipes smug smiles off reporters faces, gives children of today an inflated sense of self satisfaction.

A wise man once riddled: what’s black and white and completely over? It’s newspapers! Though it was a different story back in 1981. One could go down to the local newsboy and pick up the daily edition for a mere .20 cents with enough change left over to ride the trolley from Battery Park to the polo grounds. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on them. “Give me five bees for a quarter,” you’d say.

Now where were we? Oh yeah — the important thing is that newspapers were cheap, Al Gore was more than twenty years away from inventing the internet and, according to this KRON report, only an estimated 2-3,000 residents of the California Bay Area owned personal computers. Long story short, none of us would be able to survive. In fact, I struggle to remember life before Twitter. How did I ever survive without knowing what Levar Burton was doing of every second of every day? No doubt, they were primitive times.

“Engineers now predict that the day will come when we’ll get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer,” says the report. Behold, the future is now.

Via: Shawn Elliot

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