On February 10, we celebrate All The News That’s Fit to Print day, one of the most well-known terms in American journalism.
If you open up The New York Times, you could see “all the news that’s fit to print” stands out in the upper left corner. Interestingly, this phrase was printed by The Times on February 10, 1897. That edition became the first one to have this slogan on the front page.
Over time, the slogan didn’t disappear, instead, it turned into the must-have masthead as a timeless statement of purpose in The New York Times, which was considered as a “war cry” for fighting the truth behind each journalistic piece.
Before the use of this term, the top left corner was just used to mark the number of pages for a day’s edition. As time went on, the newspaper started facing several difficulties, and it almost went bankrupt.
When Adolph Ochs became the publisher of the newspaper, he decided to change this situation and evaluate high-quality content for the newspaper. Ochs believed his action could distinguish The New York Times from those “yellow journalism” newspapers, publishing with stories that tended to be lurid and inaccurate.
Therefore, Ochs introduced the slogan “all the news that’s fit to print” as a way to sum up his mission of filling trustworthy news information in the newspaper. In October 1896, the slogan was launched publicly on a sign that Ochs placed in New York Madison’s Square.
Today, with the rapid changes in different technology and social media trends, we have different access to news sources. At the same time, our online behaviors are also being secretly tracked, and many of us may be afraid to speak the truth.
This holiday motivates each individual to support honest journalism, which means the public could get truthful information. It is a reminder for us to spread awareness of the importance of enhancing the quality of reporting.
Most importantly, don’t forget to show your encouragement to the local newspaper or any journalist, and let them know that their hard work is valued and appreciated.