After last week’s sackload of great football clips from history currently on Youtube, this week’s Youtube round-up concerns news coverage of historical events and how news coverage has changed during this time.

I’m a complete history geek, and not ashamed of it. One of my favourite books is ‘Chronicle Of The 20th Century’ and I love reading about historical events from the second half of the 20th Century onwards.

Youtube is a fantastic resource for such information, containing vast amounts of news coverage of many events from both American and British channels.

The most fascinating thing about this is the BBC’s shift in their breaking news policy now that they have BBC News 24.

These days, only the death of a member of the Royal Family, announcement of a General Election, a major terrorist attack in Britain or America or a British Prime Minister would merit interrupting programming on BBC1 or BBC2, because there is already a channel at people’s fingertips to provide a news service.

I remember when I was young and a major story broke, there was a brief period of ‘Dead Air’ before cutting to the newsroom. It felt very dramatic, and the tension could be quite scary.

It is perhaps because of this, that when people are watching the current 24 hour news channels and the ‘Breaking News’ caption flashes across the screen, you can’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed when it isn’t a major earth-shattering event.

This first video is the BBC News coverage of the death of Ayrton Senna in 1994.

I remember playing football at Cherryvale with a friend when his dad came over to break to us, having heard it on the radio.

We didn’t believe him, as Ayrton Senna felt like the sort of person who was immortal. Watching this news bulletin, it really sank home that he wasn’t.

This news report was of the death of Princess Diana in 1997, when ITV interrupted a repeat of The Chart Show to announce that she had been in a car crash. The band whose video was interrupted was Catch, who were tipped for big thins but vanished from trace, possibly because they were shite. I actually do remember them as well.

I was still at school, but two years later, I started my first ever job, lifting glasses in The Bot, and if this this had happened during this period, I probably would have been up all night watching the news coverage.

My memories of it, are of waking up that day early, not through choice, I just happened to wake up at that time, and switching it on and seeing the shock news.

That day was surreal, as all programming on BBC and ITV was suspended, with the only programming on the BBC being a pre-prepared obituary show, and a repeat of her interview with Martin Bashir.

What also was strange when channel-hopping, was that the non-news channels were running with it, having a caption urging across the bottom of the screen urging people to change to BBC1 or Sky News to keep up to date with the story.

It seemed to be the benchmark for Royal news coverage. By comparison, the coverage of the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother seemed a bit low-key.

The last major news event was the death of Michael Jackson last year. It’s a very modern phenomenon, that the news broke for me whilst I was browsing on Twitter.

Due to the varying accounts I follow, in the space of three tweets by three different news accounts, he was dead, then he was rushed to hospital, before finally being recovering after collapsing.

It was the first major news event since “Social Media” became mainstream, and such was the volume of people wanting to chat, blog and find out about it, it caused Twitter and Google to crash.

Despite the fact that i’m not really that massive a Michael Jackson, I still stayed up for most of the night to watch the coverage. I suppose it shows how major news stories grab people’s attentions.

This final clip is of Sky News coverage of the 9/11 Terror Attacks on America, as newscasters had to constantly react to and commentate on what was happening.

On that day, I was in class at Bangor Tec until 5pm, and headed straight home, had my dinner without watching the news, and didn’t actually find out about it until about 7pm/8pm that night.

If it happened today, it would have been hard to avoid such is the use of Social Media that people would have been tweeting about it and commenting on it for their Facebook profiles.

Compare it to this BBC coverage of the President Kennedy assasination where they “Hoped” to bring reaction to you. If it happened today, the coverage would be instant across varying media forms.

Sit back and enjoy the vast archive videos of how history has been shaped and reported.


CNN Coverage

American TV

NBC Coverage

ITV Coverage

Queen Mother Death

BBC2 Coverage

BBC1 Coverage

Channel Hopping (UK)

Princess Diana Death

BBC Coverage

Sky News Coverage

ITN Newsflash

BBC Breakfast

BBC Newsflash

Elvis Death

American TV Coverage

John Lennon Death

ABC Coverage

BBC Coverage

Live Announcment On US TV

Hong Kong Handover

Sky News Coverage

Challenger Disaster

ABC Report

ABC Breaking News

Live CNN Coverage

Berlin Wall

ABC Coverage

BBC Coverage

Anne Diamond On Sunday

Moon Landing

CBS Coverage

ABC Coverage

Thatcher Resignation

BBC Coverage