Today in Media History: In 1967 Walter Cronkite imagined the future of online news and communications

In addition to anchoring the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite also hosted a documentary series called "The 20th Century" that was succeeded by another program titled, "The 21st Century." The original show premiered on October 20, 1957.

Here is one of the most interesting segments from these two programs. It aired in 1967. Cronkite imagined the future of online news and the ability to work at home on a "computerized communications console.”

The program, "The 20th Century," is described in the following excerpt from the Archive of American Television. "The 21st Century" began in 1967, which is when the segment on computerized communications was broadcast.

"From the one-hour premiere episode ‘Churchill, Man of the Century’ (20 October 1957) to its last episode The 20th Century unit produced 112 half-hour historical compilation films and 107 half-hour ‘originally photographed documentaries’ or contemporary documentaries. Narrated by Walter Cronkite, the series achieved critical praise, a substantial audience, and a dedicated sponsor, The Prudential Insurance Company of America, primarily with its historical compilation films. The compilation documentaries combined actuality footage from disparate archival sources -- national and international, public and private -- with testimony from eyewitnesses, to represent history."

This is an example of how the “The 20th Century” program usually ended. According to the closing credits, the music was performed by the CBS Orchestra.


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