Arts, Culture & Media

Happy 30th birthday, internet. Here is 21 years of The World's website.

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Listen to the story.

A collage of five screen grabs of The World's website since 1998.

Images of The World's homepage over the years.

Tim Berners-Lee first proposed the World Wide Web on March 11, 1989. Now, the internet and the web mean virtually the same thing and the world is connected in a way no one foresaw three decades ago. 

In honor of the annivesary, we thought we’d take a nostalgic trip of our own and look at The World's many iterations on the information superhighway.

The World’s website is as old as the show itself, which launched in 1996. Back in the 1990s, an on-air promo for the website said that there are plenty of stops on the information superhighway, but that if you’re looking for news and features about the whole world, theworld.org was your destination. (You can play the audio file above to hear it.)

That’s quite a mandate for a website that — at first — took three days to update.

Jonathan Dyer, now The World’s managing editor, would select three stories from the show and send them to PRI’s headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the website was managed at the time.

It was a website designed for the audience to be able to come back and listen to the show or individual stories. 

Take a closer look at these homepages, archived on Wayback Machine.

1998

The World's website in 1998 featured a story about a conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

1999

A screen grab of The World's website in 1999 featuring a story about US military helicopters in Albania.

2000

The World's website in 2000 featuring a story about a Russian submarine.

2001

The World's website in 2001 featured a story on the war in Afghanistan.

2002

The World's website in 2002 featured a story about elections in Turkey.

2003

The World's website in 2003 featured a story on music of Venezuela.

2004

The World's website in 2004 featured a story about Kung Fu Fighting.

2005

The World's website in 2005 featured a story about Israeli settlements.

2006

The World's website in 2006 included a story about musician Dougie MacLean.

2007

The World's website in 2007 featured a story about the arrest of six militants in New Jersey.

2008

The World's website in 2008 featured a story about an attack in Iraq.

2009

The World's website in 2009 featured a story about election fraud in Afghanistan.

2010

The World's website in 2010 featured a story about a battle in Kirkuk, Iraq.

2011

The World's website in 2011 featured a story about France's role in Libya.

2012

The World's website in 2012 featured an interview with Nasser Weddady.

2013

The World's website in 2013 featured a story about President Obama and Syria.

2014

The World's website in 2014 was relaunched at PRI.org

2015

The World's website in 2015 featured a story about a global refugee crisis.

2016

The World's website in 2016 featured a story about a controversy over pronouns.

2017

The World's website in 2017 featured a story about DACA recipients.

2018

The World's website in 2018 featured a story about a filmmaker in Afghanistan.

2019

The World's website in 2019 featured a story about the cancelation of Carnival in Haiti.

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