Tomorrow is All the News That’s Fit to Print Day. February 10 is an important time for newspapers, news, media, journalism, and reporters for many reasons. The phrase “All the News That’s Fit to Print” was started in 1897 by the owner of The New York Times Adolph S. Ochs.
All the News That’s Fit to Print: a Tell-All Slogan
He created the slogan as a declaration of the paper’s intent to report the news impartially. This slogan still appears on the company’s newspaper masthead today.
Ochs’ “war cry” for honest journalism sparked a trend that began in the mid-1900s. Over time more and more people sought out their news from “free” sources such as television and radio. This was preferable to subscription sources such as newspapers. News organizations in those media depended on advertising revenues to stay afloat. This meant they were more cautious about not angering powerful people and corporations.
By the mid-1990s people began turning to the internet, social media, and digital newspapers to gather their news. TV and newspaper outlets started to feel the strain of losing consumers. Many people felt less pressured to spend money on their news sources when they could get it for free.
This meant that fewer journalists and reporters were paid to relay important information or investigate allegations of wrongdoing. It also made it easier for people to spread misinformation and push propaganda. Of course, those issues were happening before radio, TV, and the internet. It was just amplified and more readily available.
Back in the day, it was called “Yellow journalism.” When newspapers would use eye-catching headlines that weren’t well-researched or fact-based. The ones that dabbled in this type of reporting would have exaggerated stories that created more fear, excitement, or sadness. They focused more time on sex sandals or other “juicy” stories than covering the more important scandals. Such as government officials ripping people off.
Then there are the “Tabloid newspapers” the ones that don’t even come close to being truthful. Like “Woman Marries Sasquatch,” “Alien Bible Found! They Worship Oprah!,” “Hillary Clinton Adopts Alien Baby,” or “Man kills himself and runs away!”
The “All the news that’s fit to print” slogan was created to make Ochs newspaper stand out from the sensationalism of the yellow press or tabloids. Many individuals felt he was overstepping claiming anything but his newspaper was “fake news.” However, that was not the case. He just wanted people to know he told the story as it was, not how people thought it should have happened.
His sole mission was to elevate the quality of the newspaper’s reporting. Since then many news media outlets have gone above and beyond to bring the people the truth. Granted there are some that have stuck with the sensational news reporting, though not too many. Then there are some stories the media focuses on to divert the public’s attention from other agendas happening around the world.
The True Meaning Behind All the News That’s Fit to Print Day
The ones who dig deep into the community to find the truth about what’s going on can be hard to find. But they are out there. These journalists work hard to let their community and the world know what’s really happening. They don’t get sidetracked by the small ticket items when there are bigger fish to fry. Most of the time they tell the story from a whole different level helping their reader feel as though they are heard.
The news outlets that do this, enjoy becoming civically engaged in their communities while helping give a voice to the voiceless. This is why All the News That’s Fit to Print Day is important. It gives recognition to the progress of newspapers, TV, and radio media in relaying what is truly happening.
By Sheena Robertson
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Images Courtesy of TNS Staff – Used With Permission