“Imagine if you will, sitting down with your morning coffee and turning on your home computer to read the day’s newspaper…”
Wow, was this concept really so far-fetched? After viewing this 1981 T.V. newscast, you’ll see what I’m talking about. The newscast shows the exploration of posting news on the Web. It gives an inside look to the very beginnings of people receiving news from their computers instead of the actual newspaper.
It’s hard to believe how far technology has come since then, but watching this video is a reminder of how fast an industry can change and evolve. PR pros are always on the look out for the “next great media tool.” They were among the first to not only embrace Twitter but also to know how to utilize the site to its full potential. I wonder how many PR professionals were on board with this concept in 1981.
This clip is actually quite humorous when you hear some of the comments the narrator makes during the cast, especially at the end when he alludes to the fact the newspaper stand doesn’t have to be worried about being out of a job “at least for now.” It’s bizarre how on-point some of the assumptions are.
In an article I recently wrote for Platform Magazine titled “PR & Print in a Changing World” I discussed the drastic change in the consumption of print media. In recent years, the majority of media consumption has gone from hardcopy to digital. This video goes to show the process hasn’t happened as quickly as it may seem today, but through steady development it has taken over. The Internet has become more advanced than anyone in the 1980s probably imagined.
This blast from the past should serve as a warning to PR pros. Don’t get too comfortable in any medium, and be ready to embrace “the next best thing” even if it seems as far-fetched as reading the newspaper from a computer screen.
by Megan Parks