Posted tagged ‘Frankfurter Rundschau’

Newspapers online

February 4, 2009

As far as I can recall, the first newspaper I ever read online was the Irish Times, and this was some time in the mid-1990s. At the time I was living and working in the United Kingdom, and having instant access to the news from Ireland was very attractive. By today’s standards the whole thing was quite basic, and I believe I am right in my recollection that what you could read was not the whole paper, but just selections from it. But it was a kind of revolution nonetheless.

Today I happened to come across the youtube item – which you can see here – that shows a much older attempt to take a newspaper to remote readers on their computer screens, in 1981. I confess that at the time I wouldn’t have had any idea what ‘online’ even meant, much less have direct experience of it. And if you see the video clip, with the really old phone modem (which I do recall seeing in someone else’s office), you might wonder whether the effort (and cost, as is explained) would have been worth it.

For me, the availability of online newspapers has never seemed a substitute for the paper version: putting my laptop on the breakfast table so that I can read the paper doesn’t seem a good idea. But it is nevertheless extremely valuable. Today I was able to read not just the Irish papers (the Irish Times and the Irish Independent), but also the New York Times and the Frankfurter Rundschau. So I am glad that this facility exists, and hope that I shall always be able to read my primary newspapers on paper, and a wide selection from around the world online.