Little Bits of History

All the News That’s Fit to Print

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 18, 2011

Adolph Ochs stamp

September 18, 1851: First edition of The New-York Daily Times hits the streets. Today, we know the paper as The New York Times. The paper was founded by journalist/politician Henry Jarvis Raymond and banker George Jones. The paper sold for one penny per copy. The first paper addressed the position of the paper. Since Raymond was a Whig and would later become the second chairman of the Republican party, they declared their paper would be of a Conservative outlook where that would be for the public good and they would be Radical in everything which seemed to need reform.

The name changed in 1857. Originally published daily Monday through Saturday, they added a Sunday edition on April 21, 1861. News of the Civil War was so great, most of the dailies of the time opted to begin a seven day a week schedule. Not one to eschew controversy, the paper printed 20 editorials concerning the Mortara Affair, a religious imbroglio concerning the Pope and a Jewish boy. During the 1870s, their reputation grew when they took on Boss Tweed. In the 1880s, the paper went from supporting Republican Presidential candidates to supporting the Democrat Grover Cleveland.

In 1897, the slogan, “All The News That’s Fit To Print” began to appear as a stab at Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst who were famous for their yellow journalism. All changes were the ideas of Adolph Ochs who had been publishing the Chattanooga Times before taking over “the Gray Lady” and achieving international scope. Ochs led in innovation and in 1904, the Times was the first to receive an on-the-spot wireless transmission from a naval battle from the press boat Haimun. He began the first air delivery in 1910 taking his paper to Philadelphia. The first trans-Atlantic delivery took place in 1919 when London began getting The New York Times.

Today, the paper is organized into nine sections: News, Opinions, Business, Arts, Science, Sports, Style, Home, and Features. They finally switched from an eight-column to a six-column format and they were one of the last papers to adopt color photography. They have an online presence which is free to the casual user, but if one wishes to read more than 20 articles per month, there is a fee. There are also apps for mobile devices and you can read the Times on either your iPhone or Android device.

“We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good;—and we shall be Radical in everything which may seem to us to require radical treatment and radical reform. We do not believe that everything in Society is either exactly right or exactly wrong;—what is good we desire to preserve and improve;—what is evil, to exterminate, or reform.” – from the first edition of The New-York Daily Times

“There are few things in this world which it is worth while to get angry about; and they are just the things anger will not improve.” – Henry Jarvis Raymond

“Advertising in the final analysis should be news. If it is not news it is worthless.” – Adolph S. Ochs

“A newspaper consists of just the same number of words, whether there be any news in it or not.” – Henry Fielding

Also on this day:
Capitol Building – In 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone for the Capitol Building.
High Class – In 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany and partner opened a new store.


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