Screenshots of CNN on 9/11

Someone at dinner tonight reminded me that CNN went text only during 9/11 due to the sheer amount of traffic that was pounding their site. They just couldn’t keep up with the bandwidth so they got rid of the glitz and the ads just so they could get the news out to the masses.

How would I get screenshots from back then? The Internet Archive only indexes every few months.

I know that someone out there has the data but it would be a shame for this data to vanish into history.

I wonder if in the future historians will dumpster dive for old computers, ripping out the hard drives, mounting the filesystems, and attempting to fetch content from the browser cache.

Which reminds me. In my parents house in MD I have 60 days of newspapers leading up to the first Iraq war.


  1. Amy

    I have them. I’m hesitant to link to them here because they’re huge and I don’t want my bandwidth killed, but I started taking screenshots at around 11:30 am Central time that day.

    I have screenshots ranging from about 11:30am CT to about 3-5pm CT from al.com (I live in Alabama), news.bbc.co.uk, CNN, CNNfn, ESPN, google, MSNBC, nytimes.com, salon, slashdot, whitehouse.gov, and yahoo. Some didn’t change much throughout the day and so I only have one screenshot, but I have the most of CNN and nytimes.com.

    Contact me privately and I’ll gladly zip them up for you. I agree — these should be kept. I only wish I’d had the presence of mind to save full HTML + photos.

    (Pointer to this article provided by Geof Morris of ijsm.org)

  2. I was working on the BBC News Website on the day – I also remember working on custom HTML to make those ’emergency short front pages’ :)

    I’m pretty sure I have the BBC News front page somewhere, and probably my former colleagues at BBC have all of them.

    Let me know if you want me to check…

    Ben






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