The future of digital content — from 1992

Twenty years ago, Robert G. Kaiser of the Washington Post traveled to Silicon Valley and Tokyo to get a sense of the future of media. On his return flight, Kaiser penned a memo to executives at the Post detailing his findings. On Sunday, a copy of that memo dubuted on Mark Pott’s “Recovering Journalist” blog. Among Kaiser’s predictions, one seems particularly familiar. Here’s the future of content Kaiser imagined Aug. 6, 1992:

“More interesting are packages of text, photos and film that could be used to create customized news products at many different levels of sophistication. At the top end, such a product might contain the text (or spoken text) of a Post story on the big news of the day, accompanied by CNN’s live footage and/or Post photographers’ pictures, plus instantly available background on the story, its principal actors, earlier stories on the same subject, etc. All of this could be read on segments of a large, bright and easy-to-read screen (screens are also being improved at a great rate).”

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