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A 1981 premonition of newspaper doom

Newspapers all over North America are in huge trouble, laying off staff or just folding. One major cause: Online news, accessible anywhere in seconds. But who knew that the bell was tolling for newspapers as long ago as 1981?

On BoingBoing, a clip from a 1981 San Francisco TV news program shows just how it all started, back in the days of rotary-dial phones and 300-baud modems.

When it cost $5 an hour to go online, and it took two hours to download a newspaper, the print media could foresee a long, secure future.

As Archie Bunker used to sing, “Gee, our old LaSalle ran great...those were the days.”

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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