Monday, September 18, 2006

September 18: Newspaper Motto Day

Today is the anniversary of the first issue of the New York Times published in 1851. Originally called the New-York Daily Times, the paper was founded by Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones.

In 1857, the paper lost its hyphen and the word "daily" to become The New York Times. In 1896, the paper was acquired by Adolph S. Ochs, who sponsored a contest to create a motto for the newspaper. Ochs didn't like any of the entries, however, and chose one of his own creation: "All the News That's Fit to Print." The motto first appeared on the editorial page, but was moved to Page 1 on February 10, 1897.

Nicknamed the "Grey Lady" because of its consistent, straight-forward layout, The New York Times is also known as the nation's "newspaper of record" because of its large circulation across the country, its definitive record of current events, and its many awards for journalism, which includes a record number of Pulitzer Prizes (Ninety-four as of this writing) (1).

The New York Times' motto All the News That's Fit to Print is the most famous newspaper motto, but it's certainly not the only one. A newspaper's motto serves as a kind of mission statement -- a statement the paper's principles.

The website of Dr. Larry Lorenz, a journalism professor at Loyola University, features a collection of newspaper mottos from papers across the United States, including the following:

Haec olim meminisse juvabit [It will profit us to remember these things in the future. Virgil.]
--Niles' Weekly Register

The Oldest Daily Newspaper In The United States--Founded 1771 / An Independent Newspaper For All The People
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

The only good sacred cow is medium rare with fries.
--The Putnam Pit (Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee)

Today's Challenge: From the Front Page
A newspaper's motto, like it's writing, must be clear, concise, and captivating. See if you can match up each of the newspapers listed below with its motto.

The Atlanta Journal
Chicago Tribune
(New Orleans) Daily Truth
The New York Sun
Tombstone (Ariz.) Epitaph
(New Orleans)Evening Chronicle

1. 116 Years In the Town Too Tough To Die/No Tombstone Is Complete Without Its Epitaph

2. It Shines For All

3. Covers Dixie Like The Dew

4. World's Greatest Newspaper

5. The Truth is Always Fair

6. The Best Paper, the Brightest Paper, the Cheapest Paper

Quote of the Day: Trying to be a first-rate reporter on the average American newspaper is like trying to play Bach's "St. Matthew's Passion" on a ukulele. --Ben Hecht

1. Tombstone (Ariz.) Epitaph 2. The New York Sun 3. The Atlanta Journal 4. Chicago Tribune 5. (New Orleans) Daily Truth 6. (New Orleans)Evening Chronicle

1 - New York Times Company

2 -

1 comment:

sink sink socks said...

Hargraves, to appreciate what the poet might well have had in his mindwhen fett weib de he wrote, 'tired Nature's sweet restorer'--one of our Southernjuleps.