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

In 2002, we entered the decade of digital. Google continued to change the world by launching its news search feature, and the older brother of Facebook, Friendster, was created (don’t worry; we had to look it up too). Things were starting to get pretty Sirius on the internet too, with 428 million users worldwide who were able to listen to online radio’s first pay-per-service model, alongside three satellites that provided news and entertainment to four cities and eventually the entire United States.

No look-back is complete without some quality cringe-worthy moments. American Idol launched its first season, showcasing the worst and worst-er of singing talent. And who could forget the most expensive advertising campaign in television history — Britney Spears’ Pepsi commercial. Seeing her happy, healthy and relevant comes with an $8.1 million price tag.

It was also a year of triumphs, with SBS launching its first digital channel, SBS World News. And the Alan Jones blooper tapes of the Parrot’s expletive-laden rant were an absolute highlight.

There were also chuckles over at Crikey, with the Chaser boys delivering a stirring obituary for our founder Stephen Mayne. But there were some serious times too. Crikey played a key role in the demolition of the Democrats, and Stephen Mayne delivered one of our most controversial stories: the affair between then-senators Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey