In 1920, KDKA Pittsburgh became the first commercial radio station in the country. It's first broadcast was on election night, and it told the country, or at least the dozens of people listening, that Warren Harding had been elected president of the United States.
Almost immediately, pundits started talking about the pending demise of newspapers. Why would people go to the bother of reading the news when the guy on the radio would read it for you?
But radio, television and newspapers continued to live in harmony, if not in competitive harmony.
Then came along the fax and the Internet. And further predictions of the demise of newspapers.
To the contrary, the Internet offers newspapers a tremendous help in getting the news out to our customers and the public at-large.
Most papers, like the Havre Daily News, have a website, a Facebook page and Twitter to provide people with up-the-minute news. We think we have the expertise, the staff and the credibility to provide breaking news to our many customers who want to be in touch with us 24 hours a day.
But the focal point of our operation, the heart and soul of the place, remains the Havre Daily News, the print edition of the newspaper.
We hope the other sources of news that we have will remind people that if they want a complete look at all kinds of news from the Hi-Line and Montana, they can look to our daily newspaper.
That's why I'm surprised at the elation some people feel with the demise of the print edition of Newsweek. It is seen by some as a sign that the end of print journalism is nearing. Not so. I think it proves that Newsweek has failed its readers, forcing them to look elsewhere for news.
Newsweek's archrival, Time Magazine, is redesigning its print product, assured that it will be around for a long time. And already, Time has a bigger digital audience than Newsweek.
The history of print products that go all-digital is not that great. We were all saddened when Detroit newspapers decided to end home delivery three days a week. Company officials were sure that the digital audience would rise during the days there were no print audiences. Not so, it was flat.
Some people, dare I say many people, still like to hold a paper in their hands and hear the crinkle as they turn pages.
The role of the daily print edition may change. It may become more of a weekly magazine that comes out every day, depending more on features and analysis, assuming that most people have already gotten their news from laptops and mobiles.
But don't be ready to join the investors of radio and television in predicting the end of print. CNN founder Ted Turner predicted in 1980 that newspapers would be extinct by 2000. Yet, today, CNN is interviewing print reporters all day to find out "what is really going on."
The next few years will be the most exciting in the history of newspapers. We will be working all the time to find new ways of telling people what's going on.
The future involves letting people know what is going on through a variety of platforms — websites, Facebook, Twitter and a whole variety of methods that haven't been invented yet.
And after reading all of that, people will be able to pick up their daily paper for the entire story.
Because of the many platforms we offer, more people are getting their news from the Havre Daily News than ever. Even if newspapers in big cities begin to cut back on print products, be sure that folks out in the small towns and communities that dot our landscapes, the daily newspaper will prevail and prosper.
(John Kelleher is managing editor of the Havre Daily News. He can be reached at email@example.com, (406) 265-6795, ext. 17, or (406) 390-0798.)