Journalism history from the year you were born

Written by:
December 4, 2020
Bettmann // Getty Images

Journalism history from the year you were born

Journalism looked a lot different a century ago than it does today. In the early 20th century, publishers often produced three daily newspapers—the morning, afternoon, and evening editions—to keep people up-to-date on the latest events. Radio picked up some of the slack between print editions, allowing people to hear breaking events in real-time.

Fast forward a few decades, and television news was all the rage. Walter Cronkite, the “most trusted man in America,” would end “CBS Evening News” with his famous sign-off, “And that’s the way it is,” creating a sense of familiarity and unity among millions of families tuning in from their living rooms.

Then came the internet. At first, it was seen as a barrier-breaking news tool. Citizen journalists could publish their own take on what was going on in their communities without the need for a publisher, and media outlets could update readers on their websites 24/7. However, the internet soon upended the traditional ad-funded business model of media, leaving traditional outlets strapped for cash. Newspapers and magazines closed in droves in the mid-2000s, and many rounds of layoffs hit newsrooms across the country.

While the media industry still hasn’t fully recovered, there’s reason to be hopeful. Online news subscriptions in the U.S. are up to 20% in 2020, compared to 16% in 2019. There’s an increased push to boost media literacy and combat fake news. And newsroom employment has been on a slight upward trend, save for newspapers, which are sadly still on the decline.

So how did we get to this point? To find out, Stacker compiled a list of important moments in journalism history between 1921 and 2020. It looked at information from think tanks, such as the Pew Research Center and Brookings Institution; universities, including the University of Virginia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Kansas; and journalism-focused publications, like the Columbia Journalism Review. And of course, it also looked at archival articles from major media, like The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Click through to see which journalism milestones were made the year you were born.

You may also like: The only 7 countries that are on track to meet the Paris Agreement—and how they're doing it

1 / 100
Universal History Archive // Getty Images

1921: Journalism focuses on scandals

Jazz journalism of the early 1920s brought about lots of sensational stories published in a tabloid format, per the University of Kansas. Many of these news stories focused on sex, crime, and other scandals.

2 / 100
Keystone-France // Getty Images

1922: For women journalists only

A group of female journalists established the New York Newspaper Womans’ Club in 1922. Its goal was to promote gender equality in the media. Still around today, the organization is the only professional group exclusively dedicated to women journalists in and around New York City.

3 / 100
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago // Getty

1923: America's first weekly news magazine

Briton Hadden and Henry Luce launched Time magazine in New York City in 1923. It is considered to be the country’s first weekly news magazine.

4 / 100
G. Adams // Getty Images

1924: Popularity of radio skyrockets

Around $83 million worth of R.C.A.'s "radio music boxes" had sold by 1924, far exceeding the profits projected by the invention's brainchild, David Sarnof. In a now-famous 1916 memo to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, Sarnoff had predicted a future where entertainment could be broadcast into people's homes via radios, which at the time were being sold by Marconi strictly for naval communications: “I have in mind a plan of development that would make radio a household utility in the same sense as a piano or phonograph. The idea is to bring music into the home by wireless.” Sarnoff eventually got $2,000 in funding from Marconi in 1920 to develop the idea; laying the foundation for radio entertainment and, eventually, television. Sarnoff went on to found R.C.A. subsidiary NBC in 1926.

5 / 100
Rea Irvin // Wikimedia Commons

1925: First issue of The New Yorker

Husband-and-wife journalists Harold Ross and Jane Grant founded The New Yorker and published its first issue on Feb. 21, 1925. While the weekly magazine was initially focused on sophisticated humor, it quickly began publishing more serious content, including journalism.

You may also like: States with the highest and lowest Trump approval ratings

6 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1926: First NBC broadcast

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) produced its first radio broadcast in November 1926. At first, it primarily broadcasted music, lectures, and speeches, but it later produced news.

7 / 100
Keystone-France // Getty Images

1927: Newsreels make their mark

Fox Movietone News in 1927 released its first talkie newsreel, featuring Charles Lindbergh as he embarked on his historic transatlantic flight. It achieved enormous success, and soon after, many other studios began to produce newsreels.

8 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1928: Radio ads offer big boost to business

Media businessman William S. Paley saw sales of products from his father’s company, La Palina Cigars, skyrocket after buying ads on a Philadelphia radio station in 1928. The sales would help him buy a chain of radio stations that became the basis for Columbia Broadcasting System, or CBS.

9 / 100
Icon Communications // Getty Images

1929: Media downplays stock market crash

Share prices collapsed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1929. Despite plunging the country into the Great Depression, the event was downplayed by many journalists at many business publications.

10 / 100
Universal History Archive // Getty Images

1930: Fortune magazine debuts

The first issue of Fortune magazine was published in February 1930. It was on a mission to “accurately, vividly, and concretely” describe modern business.

You may also like: 25 terms you should know to understand the climate change conversation

11 / 100
Visual Studies Workshop // Getty Images

1931: Newspaper saturation exceeds 100%

Throughout the 1930s, newspaper saturation was more than 100%. That means there were more newspapers sold every day than the number of households in the United States.

12 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1932: Kidnapping coverage influences jury

Aviator Charles Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped from his home on March 1, 1932. Described by reporters as “the crime of the century,” coverage of the event went on to have an influence on the jury at the subsequent trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, according to the Law Library.

13 / 100
Stock Montage // Getty Images

1933: Roosevelt hosts first fireside chat

On March 12, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his first fireside chat on the radio. His broadcasts helped cement the radio as an important medium for the news.

14 / 100
Fox Photos // Getty Images

1934: Commercial TV station rules set

The Communications Act of 1934 set in motion government-imposed rules on TV airwaves. The act included a mandate that commercial TV stations act in the public interest. It also established the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enforce its rules.

15 / 100
Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography // Getty Images

1935: Time Inc. produces 'The March of Time'

Time Inc. produced “The March of Time” in 1935. The short film series, considered to be “pictorial journalism,” was screened at movie houses and featured a mix of dramatic reenactments and on-the-ground reporting.

You may also like: Most and least popular senators in America

16 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1936: Porter pens personal finance column

Journalist Sylvia Porter began writing a personal finance column for the New York Post in 1936. The newspaper used the byline “S.F. Porter” on her articles in an attempt to hide the fact that a woman in her 20s was providing thousands of readers with financial advice, per the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

17 / 100
Sam Shere // Getty Images

1937: Hindenburg crash sparks on-the-spot broadcast reporting

The Hindenburg passenger airship caught fire and crashed in New Jersey on May 6, 1937. Radio reporter Herb Morrison covered the disaster for the Chicago station WLS, marking “the first major catastrophe to be covered by on-the-spot broadcast reporting,” notes the University of Kansas.

18 / 100
Historical // Getty Images

1938: 'Murrow Boys' report on WWII

Edward R. Murrow pioneered “CBS World News Roundup,” now America’s longest-running radio newscast, in 1938. He recruited a number of radio reporters, or “Murrow Boys,” to report on World War II events around Europe.

19 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1939: Time magazine recognizes broadcaster Dorothy Thompson

Time magazine recognized journalist and radio broadcaster Dorothy Thompson in 1939. The magazine stated that the “First Lady of Journalism” was nearly as influential as Eleanor Roosevelt.

20 / 100
FPG // Getty Images

1940: First Peabody awards

The George Foster Peabody Awards were established in 1940 by the National Association of Broadcasters. The prizes honor powerful and invigorating stories, including news, from radio, TV, and (today) the internet.

You may also like: US cities with the dirtiest air

21 / 100
Honolulu Star-Bulletin // Wikimedia Commons

1941: Live broadcast from Pearl Harbor

A radio reporter described the damage caused by the attack on Pearl Harbor immediately after the event on Dec. 7, 1941, during a phone call to a New York City station. The call was broadcast to the entire nation, marking a major moment in live national news.

22 / 100
Hulton Archive // Getty Images

1942: Hibbs named editor of The Saturday Evening Post

Ben Hibbs, editor-in-chief of Country Gentleman, was tapped in 1942 to become the editor of the beleaguered Saturday Evening Post. Throughout his 20-year tenure, Hibbs breathed new life into the magazine and, by 1961, had brought the Post to its peak circulation of almost 7 million readers.

23 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1943: Bourke-White captures a combat mission

Already considered the first female war correspondent, Margaret Bourke-White broke another barrier for women in journalism in Tunisia in 1943. That year, she became the first woman photojournalist to fly in a combat mission.

24 / 100
Ernst Haas // Getty Images

1944: Capa photographs the invasion of Normandy

Wading ashore with soldiers, photojournalist Rober Capa captured the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. A group of 11 now-famous photos are all that remain after the majority of the film was destroyed.

25 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1945: Ebony magazine debuts

Ebony was founded by entrepreneur and publisher John H. Johnson and stayed the #1 African American magazine in the world for decades. The influential magazine focused on issues that affect the African American community while also celebrating Black celebrities and personalities. Johnson launched Jet, another wildly popular magazine focused on the Black community, in 1951.

You may also like: Highest-paid employees in the White House

26 / 100
Roger Viollet // Getty Images

1946: The New Yorker publishes Hershey’s Hiroshima

The New Yorker dedicated its entire Aug. 31, 1946, issue to John Hershey’s “Hiroshima.” The long-form, narrative nonfiction work, which was eventually published in book form, told the stories of a half dozen people who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

27 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1947: CBS and NBC broadcast 15-minute national newscasts

The 1947-48 season brought forth 15-minute national newscasts from both CBS and NBC, per PBS. CBS was behind “Television News with Douglas Edwards,” while NBC broadcasted “Camel News Caravan,” which was sponsored by the cigarette company.

28 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1948: Dunnigan covers the White House

Journalist Alice Dunnigan became a White House correspondent in 1948, making her the first Black woman in history to do so. Throughout her career, Dunningan’s stories would be published in 112 African American newspapers nationwide.

29 / 100
CBS Photo Archive // Getty Images

1949: FCC issues the Fairness Doctrine

The Fairness Doctrine policy required that TV broadcasters provide the same amount of air time to people with opposing views on controversial issues in the public interest. The FCC voted to overturn it less than 30 years later.

30 / 100
Keystone Features // Getty Images

1950: Life magazine gets banned in Egypt

Ministers of Cairo banned Life magazine from Egypt on May 10, 1950, immediately confiscating any issues that remained in the country. The move was likely in response to an April 10, 1950, issue of the magazine that included a story on Egyptian King Farouk that characterized him as the “Problem King of Egypt.”

You may also like: 100 years of military history

31 / 100
John Springer Collection // Getty Images

1951: Murrow takes radio show to TV

Reporter Edward R. Murrow launched the television version of his successful radio show “Hear It Now” in 1952. Renamed “See It Now,” the show became famous for its critical coverage of the Red Scare and contributing to the demise of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

32 / 100
CBS Photo Archive // Getty Images

1952: Cronkite pioneers the anchor role

Walter Cronkite became the first news “anchor” when he hosted the Democratic and Republican conventions for CBS in 1952. The role propeled him on to become one of America’s most trusted TV journalists.

33 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1953: Journalist takes down Sen. McCarthy

Murrey Marder began covering Sen. Joe McCarthy and his hearings for The Washington Post in 1953. He discovered that the senator had made false accusations against members of the Army at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, which “helped bring McCarthy to ruin,” The New York Times reported.

34 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1954: BusinessWeek puts a woman on its cover

Brownie Wise, who pioneered the Tupperware party, appeared on the cover of BusinessWeek in 1954. It was the first time the publication put a woman on its cover, says the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The article about Wise was titled "Life of the Party: The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire."

35 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1955: First televised press conference

On Jan. 19, 1955, President Eisenhower strolled into the Indian Treaty Room for the first televised press conference. His opening remarks were "Well, I see we’re trying a new experiment this morning. I hope that doesn’t prove to be a disturbing influence.” Broadcasting the president’s words straight into homes gave the public the opportunity to hear his message unfiltered by the media.

You may also like: LGBTQ+ history before Stonewall

36 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1956: The Huntley-Brinkley Report debuts on NBC

“The Huntley-Brinkley Report” debuted on NBC in fall 1956. The evening news show earned acclaim for its novel style, which cut between hosts David Brinkley in Washington D.C. and Chet Huntley in New York City. The show represented the first time a national news program had anchors in disparate locations.

37 / 100
Joe Schwartz Photo Archive // Getty Images

1957: The Times' first food writer leaves

Food editor Jane Nickerson, the first of her kind at the New York Times, left the paper in 1957 when she moved to Lakeland, Florida. Nickerson was a pioneer for culinary journalism and published "Jane Nickerson's Florida Cookbook" in 1973.

38 / 100
PhotoQuest // Getty Images

1958: Gay press wins free speech rights

The Supreme Court’s 1958 decision on One, Inc. v. Olesen ruled that the seizure of a gay magazine violated free speech principles. It was considered a First Amendment win and a landmark in the gay rights movement.

39 / 100
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock // Getty Images

1959: Newspapers dominate media consumption

Television news grew more popular throughout the 1950s, but newspapers still reigned supreme by the end of the decade. In 1959, weekday newspaper circulation was 58.3 million in the United States, according to Pew Research Center data.

40 / 100
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock // Getty Images

1960: TVs in 90% of US households

By 1960, nine in every 10 American households owned a television set, according to PBS. The ubiquity of TV propeled broadcast news and the mass media to greater importance among the American public.

You may also like: Youngest and oldest presidents in U.S. history

41 / 100
Keystone // Getty Images

1961: Kennedy televises press conferences

President John F. Kennedy began regular live telecasts of his press conferences in 1961. He was the first president to do so, giving the public a sense of what helps drive journalism.

42 / 100
AFP // Getty Images

1962: Newspaper workers strike

Dec. 8, 1962, marked the start of a 114-day strike among roughly 20,000 newspaper workers in New York City. Workers called for an end to low wages and showed resistance to technology that would automate printing presses.

43 / 100
Jimmy Sime // Getty Images

1963: TV news is more popular than newspapers

With a TV in most U.S. households, Americans increasingly turned to broadcasts as their main source of news in the 1960s. By 1963, people reported for the first time that they got more of their news from television than newspapers, PBS reported.

44 / 100
Barry Philp // Getty Images

1964: “The medium is the message”

Communication theorist Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in his 1964 book “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man.” The phrase describes the theory that communication mediums, such as TV or print media, determine how a given message is received by an audience.

45 / 100
Pictorial Parade // Getty Images

1965: Primo develops 'Eyewitness News' style

TV executive Al Primo in 1965 began working in Philadelphia at NBC’s WRCV, where he invented the “Eyewitness News” format. Still used by television news stations today, the style replaced the standard “man-on-camera” broadcast with a more visual- and action-focused video newscast.

You may also like: Major newspaper headlines from the year you were born

46 / 100
PhotoQuest // Getty Images

1966: Freedom of Information Act is signed

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires that U.S. government agencies release records upon the request of journalists or other interested parties, with certain exceptions. The law was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 4, 1966, and became effective the following July,

47 / 100
Interim Archives // Getty Images

1967: Corporation for Public Broadcasting established

Congress established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1967 in an effort to ensure Americans have access to high-quality, noncommercial radio and television programming. The non-profit is funded by the American people and distributes that funding to almost 1,500 locally managed stations in radio and television.

48 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1968: Cronkite calls for Vietnam War stalemate

During a 1968 report from Vietnam, Walter Cronkite concluded that a stalemate would be the best potential outcome for America in its war against the Viet Cong. His stance served as a devastating blow to President Johnson, PBS wrote.

49 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1969: Hersh uncovers the My Lai Massacre

Acting on a tip, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh exposed the cover-up of the My Lai Massacre in which U.S. troops killed hundreds of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in 1969. The reporting earned Hersh a Pulitzer Prize the following year.

50 / 100
H. Armstrong Roberts/ClassicStock // Getty Images

1970: Computer terminal transmits news

Workers at the Associated Press office in Columbia, South Carolina, sent news copy to an Atlanta bureau using a computer terminal in November 1970. It is considered the first time in history that a computer terminal is used for drafting copy and submitting the article to a news service.

You may also like: Oldest national parks in America

51 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1971: Pentagon Papers are published

The Pentagon Papers, published by the New York Times, uncovered systematic lies from the Johnson Administration to both the public and Congress, as well as information about the country’s involvement in Vietnam starting in the mid-1940s to 1967. The publication of the Pentagon Papers marked a turning point in Richard Nixon’s presidency, and the public’s perception of the media and the government, according to the University of Virginia Miller Center.

52 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1972: Watergate

Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were the reporters behind breaking the Watergate scandal in 1972. Their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting led to President Nixon’s resignation, along with the indictments of 40 other officials.

53 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1973: Graham breaks glass ceiling at the Post

Katharine Graham became the first woman to hold the title of CEO at a Fortune 500 company when she was named chairwoman of the board of the Washington Post company in 1973, breaking the glass ceiling for women in publishing. She was considered the publisher of the paper from as early as September 1963.

54 / 100
Wally McNamee // Getty Images

1974: Exposé on CIA covert action programs

In late 1974, The New York Times published coverage from Seymour Hersh that detailed a range of illegal and inappropriate covert action programs at the CIA. The reporting stemmed from the “Family Jewels” set of reports.

55 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1975: Senate investigates CIA, the media

In 1975, the Senate formed the Church Committee to investigate abuses at major government agencies, including the NSA, FBI, and CIA. It would discover that the CIA had 50 journalists on its payroll. Subsequent coverage would put the number of reporters working with the CIA at 400.

You may also like: U.S. cities with the cleanest air

56 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1976: First woman anchor of a nightly newscast

Television got its first woman anchor on a nightly newscast when Barbara Walters joined ABC in 1976. The network paid her a then-remarkable annual salary of $1 million.

57 / 100
Keith Beaty // Getty Images

1977: Full-text newspaper database becomes available

News in 1977 became more accessible than ever before when the Toronto Globe and Mail launched Info-Globe. Poynter has called it “the first commercially available full-text newspaper database.”

58 / 100
Barbara Alper // Getty Images

1978: The New York Times creates a business section

The New York Times began dedicating a section of its newspaper exclusively to business in 1978. Throughout the 1970s, the paper also added Weekend and Home sections in an attempt to woo new advertisers and readers.

59 / 100
Newsday LLC // Getty Images

1979: Racial disparities in newsrooms investigated

In the March/April 1979 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nick Kotz wrote about newsrooms’ failure to integrate across the United States. Out of 1,762 daily newspapers, two-thirds did not have any nonwhite journalists on staff. He also found that only a handful of minority journalists had been promoted to assistant city editor or more prestigious positions.

60 / 100
Lenscap Photography // Getty Images

1980: First online newspaper

The Columbus Dispatch made media history in 1980 as the first newspaper to go online. It was part of a partnership between 12 Associated Press member newspapers and CompuServe dial-up service.

You may also like: Worst-run cities in America

61 / 100
Fairfax Media Archives // Getty Images

1981: First openly gay journalist gets gay beat

The San Francisco Chronicle hired Randy Shilts as a national correspondent in 1981. He was considered to be the first openly gay journalist reporting on gay issues in a mainstream American paper.

62 / 100
John Preito // Getty Images

1982: USA Today debuts

Gannett began publishing its flagship paper, USA Today, on Sept. 15, 1982. It is now one of the most widely circulated papers in the country.

63 / 100
San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers // Getty Images

1983: Craft wins discrimination lawsuit

A federal jury awarded journalist Christine Craft $500,000 in damages after she sued Metromedia for discrimination. The company had tried to demote her to a reporter role from her position as anchor after determining she was “too old, too unattractive and wouldn’t defer to men.”

64 / 100
Fairfax Media Archives // Getty Images

1984: Buerk reports on Ethiopian famine

English journalist Michael Buerk shocked the world with his television news report on the Ethiopian famine in 1984. It sparked global interest in issues in Africa and helped inspire the idea for the Live Aid Concert the following year.

65 / 100
Lee Corkran // Getty Images

1985: AP correspondent is taken hostage

Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson was taken hostage in 1985 while reporting in Beirut. Shiite Hezbollah militants held him in captivity until 1991.

You may also like: Famous declassified government secrets

66 / 100
Dennis Chamberlin // Getty Images

1986: Loews Corp. buys CBS

CBS was acquired by Loews Corp., a hotel and cinema business run by Larry Tisch, in 1986. It was just one of a series of acquisitions that occurred in the media industry during the 1980s and 1990s.

67 / 100
Mirrorpix // Getty Images

1987: FCC eliminates Fairness Doctrine

The FCC voted to overturn the Fairness Doctrine in August 1987, citing claims that it ran counter to the First Amendment and stood to muffle healthy debate. The policy had required that broadcast license holders offer equal time for both sides of controversial matters of public importance. It was officially removed in 2011.

68 / 100
Bettmann // Getty Images

1988: Student journalists are subject to censorship

In its 1988 decision on Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, the Supreme Court ruled that student journalists’ First Amendment rights are not violated when school faculty censor certain articles in school-sponsored newspapers. The ruling made it clear that the court did not see student newspapers as public forums deserving of all free speech rights.

69 / 100
Keith Meyers // Getty Images

1989: Warner Communications, Time Inc. merge

Warner Communications, a movies and records producer, and Time Inc., a publisher of books and magazines, merged into one entity in 1989. The move created the largest media company in the world at the time.

70 / 100
Joe Sohm/Visions of America // Getty Images

1990: National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Assocation

A group of reporters founded the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association in 1990. The professional association focuses on fostering fair and accurate reporting on issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

You may also like: 50 ways the news industry has changed in the last 50 years

71 / 100
olesea vetrila // Shutterstock

1991: A defamation ruling related to quotes

In the 1991 Supreme Court decision on Masson v. New Yorker, judges ruled that direct quotations can be defamatory if they intentionally twist the speaker’s meaning. The degree to which a journalist can deliberately change a source’s words and stay protected under the First Amendment is still controversial.

72 / 100
JENNIFER K. LAW // Getty Images

1992: Reporting on congressional misconduct

Common Cause magazine founder Florence Graves uncovered a pattern of sexual misconduct charges against Sen. Bob Packwood in 1992. Her reporting sparked the Senate ethics committee’s first investigation into sexual misconduct charges, leading to Sen. Packwood’s resignation, and prompting the enactment of the Congressional Accountability Act, according to the Brookings Institution.

73 / 100
WP:NFCC#4 // Wikimedia Commons

1993: Prize-winning photo sparks debate

Photojournalist Kevin Carter took his now-famous shot of a vulture looming near a starving child on the ground in Sudan in 1993. The photo, which earned Carter a Pulitzer Prize, prompted debate over when journalists should intervene when reporting on people in crisis.

74 / 100
Steve Eason // Getty Images

1994: Gendel comes out NBC

Steven Gendel, a member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, revealed he was gay during an NBC newscast of the Stonewall Celebration. According to the association, he’s the first journalist to come out on a major network.

75 / 100
David Hume Kennerly // Getty Images

1995: Internet guide is published

The American Journalism Review published “A Journalist’s Guide to the Internet” in early 1995. It was an early example that shows where the media industry was headed in the mid-1990s.

You may also like: Most lopsided state legislatures in America

76 / 100
Allan Tannenbaum // Getty Images

1996: Fox News Channel is launched

Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes launched the Fox News Channel on Oct. 7, 1996. The visually driven station features a mix of rolling news coverage and political commentary with a conservative bend.

77 / 100
Jeff Overs // Getty Images

1997: Blogs break barriers on the internet

News blogs began to pop up on the internet in 1997. They paved the path for citizen journalism within the coming years, breaking down publishing barriers in the media industry.

78 / 100
Chris Hondros // Getty Images

1998: Internet news readership skyrockets

The number of people getting their news from the internet increased substantially in the late 1990s. Pew Research Center found that 20% of people in the U.S. got their news online at least once a week, up from 6% in 1996 and 4% in 1995.

79 / 100
AFP // Getty Images

1999: New media frames Clinton-Lewinsky scandal

New media presented President Bill Clinton’s scandal with Monica Lewinsky, along with the subsequent impeachment, like “dramatic, prime time-style entertainment,” The International Society of Political Psychology noted. This new style influenced how the event and country leaders were perceived by the public.

80 / 100
STAN HONDA // Getty Images

2000: AOL acquires Time Warner

America Online and Time Warner merged in 2000 when the former acquired the latter for $182 billion in stock and debt. The new entity was considered the largest media company in the world at the time.

You may also like: Can you answer these real 'Jeopardy!' questions about politics?

81 / 100
Gregory Smith // Getty Images

2001: Enron goes bankrupt

Reporters at the Wall Street Journal uncovered and reported on irregular accounting practices at Enron in the fall of 2001. Soon after, the company filed one of the largest bankruptcies in history.

82 / 100
DANIEL DUBOIS // Getty Images

2002: Report on racist comments leads to resignation

Talking Points Memo reported on racially charged comments made by Sen. Trent Lott in December 2002. Within two weeks, the coverage prompted him to resign from his position as Senate majority leader, underlining the legitimacy of news blogs.

83 / 100
Jeff Vinnick // Getty Images

2003: Blogs take on war journalism

Blogs were becoming a more important source of war news in the early 2000s. In 2003, the “Baghdad Blogger,” Salam Pax, posted updates as his city was bombed during the invasion of Iraq. That same year, Back-to-Iraq 3.0 blogger Christopher Allbritton fundraised $15,000 to support his Iraq war reporting efforts.

84 / 100
Gary Miller // Getty Images

2004: False documents spark outcry

Within months of the 2004 presidential election, Dan Rather presented a report regarding six documents critical of President George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service. It was later discovered that the documents were not authentic, resulting in weeks of harsh criticism for Rather and CBS. The controversy is now referred to as Rathergate or Memogate.

85 / 100
HECTOR MATA // Getty Images

2005: The Huffington Post debuts

Arianna Huffington and other media moguls launched The Huffington Post on May 9, 2005. Six years later, AOL acquired the publication for $315 million.

You may also like: How Lil Nas X broke all-time music streaming records with 'Old Town Road'

86 / 100
Djamilla Rosa Cochran // Getty Images

2006: Couric breaks glass ceiling

Katie Couric took on the role as anchor of “CBS Evening News” in 2006. It was the first time one of the “big three” weekday evening news broadcasts had a solo female anchor.

87 / 100
picture alliance // Getty Images

2007: Politico is launched

John Harris and Jim VandeHei, a pair of journalists from The Washington Post, left their positions at the newspaper to found Politico in 2007. They had declined the newspaper’s request for them to launch a similar website at the Post.

88 / 100
Leigh Vogel // Getty Images

2008: Times reporter is kidnapped

The Taliban kidnapped New York Times correspondent David Rohde while he was reporting in Afghanistan in 2008. More than 40 news outlets agreed to a media blackout of the event in an effort to decrease his ransom.

89 / 100
Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics // Wikimedia Commons

2009: Pulitzer-winning investigation

Sheri Fink, a ProPublica journalist, published an investigation of deadly choices made at a Hurricane Katrina-battered hospital in 2009. The Columbia Journalism Review wrote that Fink became the first reporter from a digital outlet to earn a Pulitzer. Who at an online media company won the first Pulitzer is still up for debate, however.

90 / 100
LEON NEAL // Getty Images

2010: Digital media drives news consumption

“The State of the News Media: Online Section” reported that by 2010, 60% of Americans were getting some news from the internet on a typical day. Most people were also receiving news from other media platforms.

You may also like: How Americans feel about 30 major issues

91 / 100
EMMANUEL DUNAND // Getty Images

2011: Economy dominates the news

The economy was the biggest news story of 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Stories on the economy took up 20% of space in newspapers and online news, as well as a similar amount of time on the radio and TV.

92 / 100
Mike Coppola // Getty Images

2012: Huffington Post wins Pulitzer

Huffington Post journalist David Wood earned a Pulitzer Prize for his 10-part series on wounded veterans in 2012. It is often considered the first time the Pulitzer committee recognized an online-only news publication, but some media, such as Poynter, dispute this claim.

93 / 100
Barton Gellman // Getty Images

2013: Newspapers reveal NSA’s surveillance

Working with whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Guardian and The Washington Post broke stories about the National Security Agency surveilling foreign officials and U.S. citizens in 2013. The newspapers collectively earned a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting.

94 / 100
Drew Angerer // Getty Images

2014: BuzzFeed builds serious news team

Once a website devoted to clickbait, BuzzFeed began tackling serious news coverage in the early 2010s. By 2014, its news department employed 170 people, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Schoofs, per the Pew Research Center.

95 / 100
Boston Globe // Getty Images

2015: Video game journalism gets its own award

The Society of Professional Journalism established the Kunkel Awards in 2015. Named after Bill Kunkel, a video game journalist, the awards were created in response to the Gamergate controversy of 2014.

You may also like: Political Cartoons From The Last 100 Years

96 / 100
Pool // Getty Images

2016: Sex tape scandal forces Gawker into bankruptcy

The popular news site Gawker filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2016. The outlet was facing extreme financial difficulties after it was ordered to pay $140 million in damages for publishing a sex tape that featured Hulk Hogan.

97 / 100
ymgerman // Shutterstock

2017: Online news consumption nearly eclipses TV

Data from the Pew Research Center shows that Americans’ consumption of online news was nearly closing in on TV news viewing in 2017. That year, the gap between the two narrowed to just 7 points, with 43% of U.S. adults saying they often got their news online.

98 / 100
AFP Contributor // Getty Images

2018: Newspaper circulation dropped to lowest point

The Pew Research Center found that U.S. newspaper circulation fell to an estimated 28.6 million on weekdays and 30.8 million on Sundays in 2018. The numbers pointed to the lowest circulation rates since 1940—the first year that analysts began tracking circulation.

99 / 100
Anadolu Agency // Getty Images

2019: Fake news breaks down trust in media

A growing prevalence of “fake news” on social media and in fringe publications damaged trust in all media in 2019. Some journalists blamed President Donald Trump’s accusations of critical reports as “fake” for eroding global press freedom.

100 / 100
Bruce Glikas // Getty Images

2020: 'This American Life' wins Pulitzer

“This American Life” earned the first Pulitzer award for audio journalism in May 2020. The prize was given in recognition of the program’s investigation of asylum-seekers at a makeshift refugee camp in Mexico.

You may also like: Do you know the mayors of these major cities?

Trending Now