As part of our 15th birthday celebrations, Crikey is tracking 15 years of epic transformation in the media. Today we release the second entry in our Media Revolution timeline.

Like the first million (which Crikey’s founder wouldn’t see for another four years), the first year in a start-up’s life is often said to be the hardest. But with the dot-com bubble bursting and a Bolt-load of writs piling up in the in-tray, Crikey looked like it would continue paying a high Price for its explosive debut into the stuffy world of Australian media.

And what a grim year it was. Western media fell into lockstep in the inexorable march to war following the 9/11 attacks that shattered America’s veneer of invulnerability. The Howard government sealed off all lines of questioning into the truth behind the now-infamous Children Overboard scandal, revealing a contempt for the public’s right to hold their leaders to account that surprised even the most cynical of press gallery reporters. In the wake of tragedy, the necessity of independent voices speaking out against the status quo was clearer than ever.

It wasn’t all bad news, though. Apple turned its declining fortunes around with the release of the first iPod, fulfilling Ray Bradbury’s dystopian vision of trainloads of silent commuters swaying to unheard rhythms. The world’s first documented cinnamon challenge exploded onto our screens in a brown haze of spice and shame. And we saw the creation of the greatest accumulation of the world’s knowledge since the Library of Alexandria in Wikipedia.

Read the second entry in our Media Revolution timeline (and add your comments) here.