The New York Times‘ Facebook Timeline goes all the way back to 1851, and it’s filled with some choice photos and milestones from the paper’s history. It also tells the story of how technology changed the business of keeping you informed.
Newspapers have changed a ton since the Times was founded in 1851, and it’s impressive to watch how new technology revolutionised the business again and again. Some of these changes didn’t affect the physical appearance of the paper so much as how quickly you got the news. And it’s weird to think about how different things were before the Times started receiving reports wirelessly from London in 1907. Or how photos were magically beamed across the Atlantic to the Times’ newsroom for the first time in 1926.
But the most transformative moment in the Times’ history happend on January 22, 1996, when the paper went online. The story that ran in the paper that day, penned by disinterested reporter Peter H. Lewis is marvellous.
The New York Times on the Web, as the electronic publication is known, contains most of the news and feature articles from the current day’s printed newspaper, classified advertising, reporting that does not appear in the newspaper, and interactive features including the newspaper’s crossword puzzle.
The electronic newspaper (address: http:/www.nytimes.com) is part of a strategy to extend the readership of The Times and to create opportunities for the company in the electronic media industry, said Martin Nisenholtz, president of The New York Times Electronic Media Company.
Any single sentence in that story could be analysed forever, but it’s crazy that the web was so new that the paper had to explain what it was to its readers. Most of us bloggers probably actually read the paper in print at some point, but it makes sense that we don’t call it an “electronic newspaper” any more. The term “print newspaper” is far more common. [NYT Timeline via Twitter]