An old newsroom witticism suggests that newspapers are called a medium because they are neither rare nor well done.

While the media offers a convenient boogeyman for those who believe their narrative is the only one worth reporting, the truth is that a free press is one of the cornerstones of American democracy, enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Long before live-streaming social media reports and crawling news tickers plastered on the bottom of 24-hour cable news channel feeds, the world got its news from newspapers.

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born