What online news looked like on 9/11

With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube yet to come, newspapers and TV sites played pivotal role

Sites looked primitive by today’s standards

There was no Twitter, Facebook or YouTube on Sept. 11, 2001. Google News was a year from launch. And while most everyone stayed glued to their TV sets to watch the unfolding horror, there still was plentiful coverage online. The Internet Archive WayBack Machine doesn't crawl all news sites, and some of those that it does weren't recorded on 9/11, but what follows is a representative sample of how the sites looked on that day. Included are CNN, the New York Times, FOX News, Reuters and the BBC.

Fox News

So understated given the circumstances. So unlike the FOX we've come to know.

Los Angeles Times

Under the headline "All Air Travel Is Grounded Nationwide" is this prediction: "Travel experts expect a permanent increase in security." 


Note that there's no video, and no live feed from CNN's television coverage.

New York Times

Time on the page is 7:45 p.m. This was the only one of the sample sites showing the twin towers already down.

Chicago Sun-Times

Mention of bin Laden in the second paragraph reinforces how immediately U.S. officials knew who was responsible. 


Although the WayBack Machine dates this one Sept. 11, the page itself says Sept. 12.


Small box lower left notes that it was the 150th anniversary of the news service and invites readers to "Get Reuters News on your PDA." 


Site invites readers to "Send in your eyewitness accounts and reactions," a practice that has become commonplace today.


The worst of the bunch, hands down.


This page is dated Sept. 13 and shows that even the technology sites were given over to news of the attacks.


A Sept. 14 page carries these two headlines: "Senate OKs FBI Net Spying" and "Passengers: Delays Worth The Wait."


2012's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries

2011's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries

2010's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.