This paper argues that the societal perception of the web and of changes to it over the course of time forms a relevant part of web history. Moreover, the particular perception of the web is to a large extent affected by the traditional media. Against this background the study analyses on a historical basis the content of the traditional media, i.e. newspapers and journals, dealing with topics related to the web. The results of the study foster the assumption that – at least in Germany – traditional media coverage on the Internet and digital media and today social media as well is strongly influenced by a competition between the old and the new media. At the same time the results of the Austrian data show a more neutral attitude toward the web. In order to assess these differences, further international comparative studies are needed.