Wednesday, 18 September 2013

All the News That's Fit to Print

It was on this day in 1851 that the New York Daily Times went on sale for 1 cent.  Following the slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print", it quickly became known for sound journalism.  Its writers frantically pounded on typewriters at 113 Nassau Street to meet the deadline each day.  Over a century and a half later, the New York Times is the third most read newspaper in the United States, behind only U.S.A. Today and the Wall Street Journal.

Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the New York Daily Times debuted as a daily metropolitan newspaper to serve the city of New York.  by 1857, the title changed to the New York Times.  In 1861, to cover the Civil War seven days a week, the newspaper premiered a Sunday edition.  Originally a Republican paper, the Times did an expose on William "Boss" Tweed, the Democratic leader in New York, in the 1870's.

It wasn't until 1897 that the slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print" first appeared, credited to Adolp Ochs, the paper's owner.  The New York Times wanted to distinguish itself from papers like the New York World and the New York Journal, both of which were known for yellow journalism.

The city of New York was growing by leaps and bounds and so was the Times.  That year the newspaper moved from its Park Row headquarters to 1475 Broadway, part of Long Acre Square (later Times Square).

By the turn of the century, the New York Times started to take on an international scope.  It was the first paper to receive a wireless transmission from a naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War.  In 1910, the paper was delivered by air for the first time to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Nine years later, it was flown over the Atlantic to London, England.  With the recent Great War, the British were interested in what the Americans were doing.

In 1934, the Times included its first weather map.  The first crossword puzzle premiered in 1942 as did the Bestseller's List.  The fashion pages were first included in 1946.

The History of Crossword Puzzles

The New York Times was fast becoming an internationally recognized newspaper.  In total, its writers would received 112 Pulitzer Prizes for their pieces, an all-time record for a newspaper.  They include:

1.  A 1930 piece about Arctic explorer Admiral Byrd's expedition.
2.  A 1936 piece about the Lindbergh family's exodus to England after the high profile trial and conviction of their baby's kidnapper and executioner Bruno Hauptmann.
3.  A 1946 piece about Nagasaki after the atom bomb was dropped.
4.  A 1956 series about Brown vs Board of Education and Jim Crow laws in the Deep South.
5.  A 1964 piece about South Vietnam.
6.  A 2002 piece about 9/11.

And the list goes on.  Today, the New York Times is the largest metro newspaper in the United States.  It sells for $2.50 from Monday to Saturday while the Sunday edition is $5.00.  Its website receives over 30 million hits per month.

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