Using Internet for latest news- A decade ago

by SrinidhiHande

The year was 1998-99. I was studying in Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya (JNV) Udupi district, Karnataka. It was a residential school. Everyday morning the school would assemble before the classes would start and one of the rituals performed during the same was to read the news headlines. Everyday a designated person had to collect news headlines from newspapers and read it in front of the entire school. The idea being, to keep everyone informed what’s going on outside the school campus.

I always had a feeling that students are getting outdated news. Reason was this… The assembly timing as around 7.15 AM in the morning. Our school was located far from city and English newspapers usually used to reach by 10 or 11 AM. So the headlines read in today’s assembly used to be from yesterday’s newspaper, which in turn reported the events happened the previous day. Effectively we were getting 3 day old news.

With a journalistic instinct in me, I was keen on giving more recent news to my class mates. The school used to allow us watching news on TV every evening. Doordarshan was the only channel those days and news was at 8 PM to 8.30 PM and 8.30 PM to 9 PM (Hindi and English). Whenever it was my turn to read news infront of everyone next day, I used to take notes from the news shown on TV and then share this news next day. This way, I was able to reduce the delay from 3 days to less than 24 hours (Yesterday’s news shared today morning)

After finishing my class 10th I took some computer courses and when our school got computers in 1999, I was the first few people in the campus who knew something about the computers (I was the only one in entire school to have an email ID at that time). Only one computer in Principal’s chamber had internet access and I could get permission to use it.

With internet at my disposal, the quest to share latest news was even higher. If I was to read news at 7.15, I would check latest news headlines on internet by 7 AM, make notes and read the latest news in front of few hundred students. Some of the news I read out were so latest that I had the credit of transmitting it faster than TV and newspaper. (An incident which happened today morning could be seen only by late evening news bulletin or read in next day’s newspaper-there was no concept of 24 hours news channel those days)

Soon this became a standard (Of collecting latest news from internet than relying on newspapers or other sources which give obsolete sources)

This is how we used power of internet nearly a decade ago, though today this may sound like a silly narration-what’s so great in getting news from internet? Thought of sharing this with you on the occasion of one web day.

I blog at


Shrinidhi Hande

(ISOC India Chennai)

3 Responses to “Using Internet for latest news- A decade ago”

  1. Good read!

    Just want to point out one thing. This is possible only if you access the news site directly. Suppose you need to search for something which has happened latest, ( say google it), it takes a while for them to cache it.

    Ex: you might be aware of the recent bomb blasts in Bangalore. Once I got hte news, I started googleing for more information which gave me irrelevant things though sites like CNN-IBN, NDTV were publishing news on the topic.

  2. Yes.. After reading, I could recall each line of this story as though it happened yesterday. I was with Nidhi 10 yrs back (and now, virtually!) when these episodes happened.. and I have seen him doing each one of what’s mentioned..
    I could add more to this: In JNV, when we were in about 8th or 9th std, Nidhi was as usual news/journalism crazy.. At those times we used to get local Kannada daily, Udayavani at around 2:00AM in the night(literally hot news paper just out of the closely located (at Manipal) press). On some days, I have seen Nidhi being awake at those hours to get the first copy of the news paper.. Further, he also used to be the first guy (even b4 the teachers) to get first glimpse of the kannda magazine Taranga…

    And about the email id that he alone had, it was true. I remember him creating official email id for jnv principal later. I knew computers at that time but I didnot know abt internet.. and I was thinking why this internet is ever needed!! and I used to wonder why Nidhi is wasting money in MICE Kundapur taking internet course.. Latter did I realize that the course i took, (lotus 123 and some word processor course, which I don’t find in List_of_word_processors of wikipedia now!) are waste!

    Can’t believe life without internet and computers now. First thing I see when I get up is my laptop, I turn it on and then brush! And Last thing to see b4 sleep is again the same laptop [:)]

  3. @ Sandesh
    Yes, Google takes time to crawl and cache pages. They don’t do it on a real time.

    @ Raghavendra Bhat

    Thanks for your detailed comments, it brought back the sweet old memories…

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