Every now and then, we feel nostalgic about past things that used to feel so normal. Like, Creme Savers candy, WordArt, and low-waist jeans. Okay, maybe not the latter one. But this time, we’re deep diving into the world of news that would air on television back in the '80s and '90s.

In particular, the low-definition, raw and unedited news screens that would feature all kinds of weird things. Think of random people getting interviewed for news, odd infographics, questionable news reports, previews, weather forecasts, you name it.

And two Twitter pages, '80s News Screens and '90s News Screens, are what you could call a golden treasure trove of the most entertaining old-school screengrabs. Scroll down and upvote your favorite ones!

#1

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80snewsscreens Report

Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

my life plan :D

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Bored Panda reached out to the author behind the 80snewsscreens Instagram page that shares “screengrabs from slower news days” to their audience of 65.3k followers.

“This started after I began searching YouTube for old Weather Channel clips as a way to help me fall asleep,” the creator recounted the origins of the project. “Something about that combo of the rudimentary graphics and smooth jazz, it's like Ambien,” they said and added that “It snowballed into me watching old commercials and promos, and then full newscasts from the '80s and '90s.”

According to the creator of 80snewsscreens, back before local news was run by only a handful of corporate owners, it had a more distinct local flavor. “Newscasters were big A-list personalities in their markets whom a station would brand themselves around. Additionally, there was a sense of DIY magic to a news production—using very basic tools to pull off something that tried (and mostly succeeded!) to appear high-budget and sleek.”

#2

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago

Richard was as rare as they get in those days.

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#3

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Yvonne Dauwalder Balsiger
Community Member
3 months ago

Finally someone on the news I can relate to 🍕

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The author added that out of context, it all looks funny. “I wanted to share some of the best stuff from these clips, so I created the account. It's really, really fun. There are meme creators who are really good at the '80s low-res, 'imperfect' aesthetic—@teenagestepdad being my favorite.”

“People are finding and loving analog media again—cassettes and VHS tapes are having a resurgence and I'm here for it. I am forever thankful for those content uploaders who transfer old VHS tapes onto YouTube,” they explained.

If you’re into the aesthetic too, make sure to check out another account with screengrabs of old late-night infomercials and local ads called @2amcommercials by the same creator. They also added that a friend of theirs who helped with posting on 80snewsscreens has spun off a @90snewsscreens account, so check it out too!

#4

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Ah, yes, the 2020s announcement.

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#5

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Dr Nostromo
Community Member
3 months ago

Great makeup. I never would have suspected he was a watermelon.

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We reached out to Lisa Yaszek, a Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech, where she researches and teaches science fiction as a global language crossing centuries, continents, and cultures, who shared some very interesting insights on old-school screen grabs.

“There are two main differences between current news screen grabs and those from the 1980s. First and foremost, current news screen grabs have much higher resolution rates: people and places are presented in clear detail with seemingly little inappropriate color shifting or pixilation,” she said.

“Second, the graphic design framing these images and presenting key information has become much more sophisticated as well. Subtitles that fade into the background or cover the people being filmed are replaced by small but easy-to-read ones that are placed in ways that complement rather than impede the visual narrative, while stock images are replaced by customized ones that match the verbal narrative presented in the story at hand.”

#6

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troufaki13
Community Member
3 months ago

Is it me or does she look like Taylor Swift??

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#7

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Riddhi⭐
Community Member
3 months ago

"Supersad" is someone's actual surname? LOL😂

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According to the professor, taken together, these differences demonstrate how greatly our visual recording and designing technologies have changed in the past 40 years. Moreover, they provide us with “ever greater control over the way we shape and share images—and ever greater anxiety about what people might do with that kind of control.”

When asked what precisely fascinates us about these odd-looking screengrabs, Lisa said they connect us to the last historical moment before we became digital. She continued: “Since the 1990s, our relationship to each other and the larger world around us has been shaped by where we go on the internet, what we learn on social media, and who we connect with through our cell phones, tablets, and laptops.”

#8

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beastmachine.
Community Member
3 months ago

I hate my eyes, I literally saw "Dikes" dogs😂

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#9

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Dr Nostromo
Community Member
3 months ago

Are we sure about that?

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“As I like to tell my students, even if we don’t have metal bones or artificial limbs, we are all virtual cyborgs because we get most of our knowledge about the world not through personal experience, but through our personal devices. Of course, we also got a lot of our information about the world through electronic devices in the 1980s, but the media landscape was a lot simpler then, with television as the main communication technology that people turned to for entertainment, education, and news—and with the advent of cable television in that decade, they suddenly had a lot of channels to choose from!”

#10

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago

Thelma loves her rugs...

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#11

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Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
3 months ago

This didn't age well.

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According to Lisa, news grabs are particularly compelling “because even as we complain about journalistic bias, we depend on reporters to tell us about the major events and issues that connect us to each other at local, national, and global levels. So looking at 1980s news screen grabs can give us a powerful sense of connection to the history of that era—although sometimes they can also underscore how much has changed in that time as well.”

#12

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Riddhi⭐
Community Member
3 months ago

Well, "tiny TVs" are actually a thing now!! 😀

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#13

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Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

and i'm a gluten victim :'(

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Moreover, the 1980s screen grabs provoke complex emotions in us that express themselves as laughter. “But what exactly are we laughing at? Most immediately, we laugh at the obvious technical and aesthetic differences between 1980s news screens and our own: in a world where we can take dozens of photos in just a few seconds and then use professional-level tools to transform and send them to friends around the world in just a few minutes, the low-resolution graphics, slightly fuzzed images, and screen grabs that always catch people at their worst angles are clearly artifacts from another, seemingly more awkward and less sophisticated moment in media history.”

#14

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Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

"sorry boss, but the TV said i had to!"

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#15

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Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

me too buddy, me too

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Another thing that makes the screen grabs funny is just “how extreme 1980s fashion looked in every respect: the big hair! The giant shoulder pads! The neon sports gear! The dark blush! We see a lot of these same elements in modern style, but rarely all together in such memorable ways.”

The professor also said that what makes them particularly laughable is the fact that without the context of the whole story, it’s nearly impossible to figure out why we’re seeing people on screen. “What is the news event that calls for comment by a 'tourist from Alabama' (wearing a cheese-shaped hat!) or a 'rider in the tunnel' or a 'technical co-ordinator’? Why is it important that two young people are 'feeling punk' or that another one is 'thirty-two' and yet another one 'wants to get home'? Are we just learning now that someone’s 'knee is fine,' or did we miss an earlier story about that? And in response to the news graphic 'guess what?'—well, what? Tell us, please!”

#16

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Dr Nostromo
Community Member
3 months ago

...as am I.

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#17

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beastmachine.
Community Member
3 months ago

C'mon the cancel culture is getting to much, they are now cancelling a rooster on a broomstick!?

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Lisa suggested that there is “something utterly absurd about being dropped into the middle of these stories, but also something utterly delightful because they invite us to be creative and make up our own stories inspired by these images.”

“Sometimes I think our laughter at these images is the laughter of recognition and sympathy: most of the people in 1980s news screen grabs are not the kinds of big-name politicians, entertainers, and business people who we typically associate with world events,” Lisa said that suggested that instead, they are little people like us, “family members, co-workers, commuters, vacationers, consumers, dog lovers and dog haters, people feeling punk and buying pizza and drenched by rain.”

#18

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housea
Community Member
3 months ago

She was the “Where’s the beef?” lady.

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#19

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Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

mood :D

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“The American pop artist Andy Warhol once said that in the modern era, everyone gets 15 minutes of fame, and 1980s news screen grabs seem to confirm the truth of that saying—everyone has a right to comment on the news of the day,” the professor explained.

#20

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Pearl
Community Member
3 months ago

Reporter: And here we have Paul, a McDonald's eater. Paul, what do you have to say for yourself? Paul: I'm lovin' it!

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#21

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80snewsscreens Report

James016
Community Member
3 months ago

News for nihilists

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When we laugh at 1980s screen grabs, Lisa said it is the laughter of relief and hope. “A lot of big, potentially scary things happened in the 1980s that anticipate our fears about the future even today: computers became part of everyday life, blurring the boundaries between work and play and world and home; the world lurched one step closer toward a truly global economy, destroying entire classes of labor while creating complex and not necessarily better new ones; the AIDS and crack cocaine pandemics made clear that there was no national or international consensus on how to handle public health crises.”

#22

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Ty Stratton-Quirk
Community Member
3 months ago

Is that Conan O'Brien and Stephen Colbert?

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#23

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Eva the Egg
Community Member
3 months ago

A man who cooks?

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“But as so many of these 1980s screen grabs remind us, through it all, everyday life went on—and just as those everyday people from the 1980s survived whatever newsworthy crises got them on television, so, too, shall we,” the professor concluded.

#24

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troufaki13
Community Member
3 months ago

Beer loves America, but does America love beer??

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#25

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Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

excuse me? pocket power rapid fire hand-held-multi-shot target gun? what could possibly be dangerous about that? /s

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#26

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Luther von Wolfen
Community Member
3 months ago

The 80s were wild.

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#27

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Jenn Ryan
Community Member
3 months ago

I find that hard to believe.

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#28

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago

Those small white women resistance pockets.

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#29

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago (edited)

Tony is naughty.

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#30

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El muerto
Community Member
3 months ago

there is nothing sadder than when your Nintendo passes away...thoughts and prayers

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#31

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Vic
Community Member
3 months ago

As in meat or mail?

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#32

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Lauren Caswell
Community Member
3 months ago

Schweet

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#33

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tuzdayschild
Community Member
3 months ago

Judging by the look on his face, I'm pretty sure he knows.

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#34

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justyouraverageextrovert
Community Member
3 months ago

😐 excuse me?!

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#35

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Yvonne Dauwalder Balsiger
Community Member
3 months ago

Ron Perlman! 😍😍😍

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#36

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80snewsscreens Report

Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

name of your mums s*x tape :D (sorry had to do it!)

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#37

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80snewsscreens Report

Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

what kind of toy? :D

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#38

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Rowlie
Community Member
3 months ago

She and Terry should meet

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#39

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Francis
Community Member
3 months ago

*reads it on her smartphone* stupid pic..

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#40

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
3 months ago

Yeah, Gwen Croft is the new breed, Lara Croft's mother, she has to keep in touch with the daughter.

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Note: this post originally had 107 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.