New Media Timeline (2001)

December 16, 2004
Category: Archive
Previous: 2000 / Next: 2002
Intro and links to the other years in the timeline


  • The collaboratively written Wikipedia online encyclopedia formally begins on January 15, 2001. (Source: History of Wikipedia)

  • 51 percent of all U.S. households have at least one mobile phone. 40 percent of U.S. adults use their cell phones regularly.
    (Source: Dataquest Inc., Feb. 2001.)
  • U.S. Internet penetration reaches 60%, with more than 168 million people logging onto the Web from homes or offices in January 2001. (Source: Nielsen)
  • In July 2001 the Napster file sharing service shuts down after being sued and losing a court case for copyright infringement.
  • On July 16, 2001, anti-virus experts begin hearing reports about the Code Red worm and SirCam virus.

  • Internet users find it easier to access free wireless connections at libraries, schools, restaurants, and many other locations.

  • Wireless: The Strategies.”
    Presstime, July/August 2001.
  • The PC at 20: The road from 1981’s IBM PC to today’s systems — and all the revolutions, evolutions, and stumbles in between.”
    PC World, Aug. 2001.
  • The Trojan Room coffee pot Web cam is turned off on August 22, 2001. (Related: “Farewell, Seminal Coffee Cam.”
    Reuters/Wired, March 7, 2001. “Story of the Trojan Room Coffee Pot: A Timeline.” and “First Web Cam.” Quentin Stafford-Fraser, 2001.) The Web cam image was first posted on the Internet in 1993.
  • On September 6, 2001 the U.S. Justice Department announces that it will no longer try to break up Microsoft as part of its antitrust case against the company and rather seek a smaller penalty. (Related: “The Microsoft Verdict.” The New Yorker, July 9, 2001.)
  • The iPod, Apple’s hard drive-based digital audio player, is introduced on October 23, 2001. “With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.” The Apple iTunes music store opens for Mac users on April 28, 2003. (You might say Sony’s audio cassette Walkman (1979) and the first commercial transistor radio (1954) were the iPods of their generations.)

  • Leviathan: How much bigger can AOL get?”
    The New Yorker, Oct. 29, 2001.

  • There are more than 21 million broadband Internet home users in the United States.
    (Source: Nielsen/NetRatings, Nov. 2001.)

  • Microsoft introduces its Xbox video game console.
  • 20 Year Usenet Timeline.”
    Google, Dec. 2001.
  • The 30-Year Path of E-Mail.”
    New York Times, Dec. 6, 2001.

Additional Resources

  • The UCLA Internet Report:
    Year Two
    Center for the Digital Future.
  • The total number of Wikipedia entries in 2001 is 20,000. In 2009 it is 3.1 million. (Source: Forbes)
  • There are ten million Google searches per day in 2001. In 2009 it is estimated to be 300 million. (Source: Forbes)


  • Five Years on the Web.”
    New York Times, Jan. 20, 2001.
  • The Online Publishers Association (OPA) is organized during June 2001.
  • On June 11, 2001 the Web site for the Daily Oklahoman logs a half million page views when Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is executed in Terre Haute, Indiana.
  • On June 25, 2001 the New York Times vs. Tasini U.S. Supreme Court case rules that publishers must obtain freelancers’ copyright consent in order to use their work in electronic formats.
  • As of July 2001 more than 45 newspapers offer wireless content. Many of the papers that offer wireless content also offer synchronized content for PDAs that can be downloaded through (Source: NAA’s Presstime)
  • News Example:
    Sept. 11, 2001 —
    “9/11 Terrorist Attacks.”
    Poynter’s Links to the News)
  • After the September 11th terrorist attacks eyewitness reports are posted on blogs and online news Web sites. On September 12, 2001, Steve Outing writes on Poynter Online: “The horrific events of September 11, 2001, represented the first opportunity for online media — still relatively new — to cover a huge story. While news Web sites were certainly going strong when Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City, even that tragedy pales in comparison to these latest acts of terrorism. This story is of the scope of the attack on Pearl Harbor (some say bigger), and online news is a more mature industry today. Thus, the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington represent the greatest test yet of the newest news medium: the Internet.”
  • Soon after the anthrax attacks begin in October 2001, and online and traditional journalists start reporting the story, Al Tompkins writes on Poynter Online: “Journalists face the competing pressures of keeping the public informed of important developments while not scaring the public about hoaxes or overplaying incidents of anthrax threats.”
  • During 2001 lack of advertising forces several print newspapers to stop publishing stand-alone technology sections. (Source: NAA’s Presstime)


  • “More than 1,300 North American daily newspapers have launched online services.” “Worldwide, there are more than 4,500 daily, weekly and other newspapers online.”
    (Source: NAA’s 2001
    Facts about Newspapers
  • U.S. daily newspaper readership statistics (Percent of total adult population, age 18 and over) 2001: 54.3%; 1970: 77.6%. (Source: NAA)
  • There are approximately 1,418 television stations with sites on the Internet or dial-up services.
    (Source: Editor & Publisher)