The future of the newspaper, 1981-style

A spot of Friday quirk here: I’ve just stumbled upon this archived clip of San Francisco local news (above) that dates back to 1981, reporting new technology that allows people with “home computers” to read the morning’s newspaper on their machines. “It’s not as far-fetched as it may seem,” the anchorwoman tells us in her introduction – indeed, watching the clip now, the idea is eerily prescient. The report examines a prototype version of today’s internet-enabled newspapers, but ends by assuring us that regular newspaper-sellers won’t face competition, because of the huge cost of downloading the paper.

“Engineers predict that one day will come a time when we’ll get all our magazines and newspapers by home computer – but that’s a few years off,” reassures the correspondent. It’s been 28 years since that report was made – what do you think will be the state of newspaper and magazines come 2038?


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