Today is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. So much has happened in the last 20 years to fundamentally change the political landscape of not only Europe but the entire world it’s hard to remember a time when the continent of Europe was literally divided by a wall. Or how momentous it was, and how sudden, when that wall suddenly came down.
It is amazing to watch this clip (below) of Peter Jennings deliver the “astonishing news” out of Germany in a breaking “special report’ on November 9, 1989. In part, because it somewhat conveys the sense of shock and awe that accompanied the news, but also because it’s such a quick and poignant reminder of a time when network news actually did break news stories to a nation unaware of the breaking events on the world stage.
As with other huge news stories of the recent past (Katrina comes to mind) it’s hard not to speculate how differently that day, or that time, might have unfolded has media outlets such as Twitter and YouTube been available. In the meantime, here is Jennings and ABC News’ special report on November 9, 2009. Below that, the opening paragraphs of the New York Times A-1 story that ran the following day.
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