I ran across the following in the 1900 Union League Club annual report. The section of the report related to the Committee on Library and Publications reminded me that this was written during the Philippine-American War and the Second Anglo-Boer War. So what did they do before cable news? Books, serials and maps.
…your Committee unanimously resolved to return to … expending in the purchase of new books, as distinguished from serial literature of any description, a reasonable proportion of the funds… especial reference has, of course, been had to timely publications, like books on the Philippine Islands and South Africa.
Your Committee feels that mention should here be made of the very beautiful and cartographically accurate maps of the Philippine Islands and of South Africa now posted in the Club-house, which were prepared by the War Department and sent to the Club by the courtesy of the Secretary of War; and also of the map of South African territory procured by the Committee from London. By placing a number of small flags upon these maps to indicate the location of the various troops, and by changing them from day to day, as advances or retreats are made, it has been found that the interest of club members in the different campaigns has been stimulated. This method of illustrating the progress of a war is quite general in the London clubs, but has never before to our knowledge, been used in any New York club.