“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” (New York Times). Henry Jarvis Raymond and George Jones set this as their starting point for their life changing newspaper.
Henry Jarvis Raymond, founder, and George Jones, co-founder, established The New York Times for one hundred thousand dollars, obtained with the help of their friends. Before becoming a journalist for his own newspaper, Henry began his career working on the Tribune and editing for James Watson Webb's Courier and Enquirer (Questia). As for George, before co-founding, he was a banker in Albany. Together, on September 18, 1851, they published their first issue of the previously known New York Daily Times (New York Times Timeline).
"We publish today the first issue of the New York Daily Times, and we intend to issue it every morning (Sundays excepted) for an indefinite number of years to come" (New York Times Timeline). The newspaper was sold at one cent each copy or six and a quarter cents a week (New York Times). In the first issue of the New York Daily Times, it was clearly stated that the newspaper would be written about political, social, moral, and religious news (New York Times).
“We shall endeavor so to conduct all our discussions of public affairs, as to leave no one in doubt as to the principles we espouse or the measures we advocate... We do not mean to write as as if we were in a passion, -- unless that shall really be the case: and we shall make it a point to get into a passion as rarely as possible. There are very few things in this world which it is worth while to get angry about; and they are just the things that other journals, with individuals, or with parties, we shall engage on when, in our opinion, some important public interest can be promoted...” (New York Times).
Henry and George wanted to target “cultured and intellectual” readers instead of a mass audience (Britannica Online Encyclopedia). One problem was that people did not want to have to read deep and meaningful articles, they just wanted the news! In order for the paper to gain more readers, they sought manageable but essential ideas. Because of the events surrounding this time period the solution was simple, a daily newspaper, including Sunday. They acknowledged the request for Civil War news. New York’s demand for daily coverage on the war was tremendous, and with that, the demand for the New York Times paper was increasing (New York Times Timeline).
On June 18, 1869, Henry died and George became publisher (New York Times Timeline). Many things changed as George took over including: price increase, transition from supporting Republican candidates to being politically independent, and receives phone number (New York Times Timeline). August 12, 1891, George dies and the company is bought by Adolph Simon Ochs for $75000.
The New York Times was going in a drastic downward spiral when Ochs bought it, losing $1000 a week. “Ochs placed greater stress than ever on full reporting of the news of the day, maintained and emphasized existing good coverage of international news, eliminated fiction from the paper, added a Sunday magazine section, and reduced the paper’s newsstand price back to a penny.” The…