All The News That’s Fit To…Tweet? Re-writing the New York Times Motto

June 30th, 2010
Flickr Image: B.K. Dewey

Flickr Image: B.K. Dewey

Valerie Simon

Monday morning, as I sat down on the train headed to the Bulldog Reporter 2010 Media Relations Summit, I had trouble getting past the front page of The New York Times. No, it wasn’t the story about “online bullies” or the “G20 agreement to halve budget deficits,” but a part of its masthead: “All the news that’s fit to print.”  

I am bothered by the fact that the motto remains tied to a particular format, when in fact The New York Times Digital ranked 13th on the newly released comScore report of top 50 web properties. I enjoy reading The New York Times online via my BlackBerry, following @nytimes on Twitter and receiving its RSS feeds in my reader. I listen to podcasts and watch NY Times videos. The various formats and channels each offer a unique purpose and different advantage in storytelling.

When I arrived at the conference I paid particular attention to how other media organizations were evolving. During the first roundtable I moderated, Glenn Coleman, managing director, Crain’s New York Business, discussed the different methods of outreach and subscription types available to readers. Alongside the original print edition, there is a digital edition, several premium specialized newsletters, as well as free email alerts consisting of daily, weekly, industry and company email alerts delivering the day’s breaking business news.

Likewise, at my second roundtable, Joe Ciarallo, editor of PRNewser and manager of PR initiatives for, noted that the MediaBistro community receives content and information from a wide array of platforms. In addition to its original blog, MediaBistro reaches its audience using targeted blogs such as PR Newser, TV Newser, and Agency Spy, premium content, and opportunities for members,  live events and an active social media presence.

So what is the new standard of newsworthiness – the new goal of media organizations striving to be that essential trusted source of news?  During the conference Rand Morrison, executive producer, CBS News Sunday Morning, wisely remarked that, “Long is shorter than it used to be.” Perhaps an updated motto for The New York Times would be “All the news that’s fit to tweet.” But seriously, the motto should no longer focus on one particular format, but rather on consumption, discussion, or sharing. I’ll put it to you, the BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas community. What do you think would be a more appropriate motto for today’s New York Times?

6 Responses to “All The News That’s Fit To…Tweet? Re-writing the New York Times Motto”

  1. “News You Need to Know…Now!”

    Valerie, you are addressing an issue that occupies a LOT of time in our conversations at Curry College about how our communication program must change quickly…not evolve…so that the next generation of communicators, whether they be print, broadcast or, like me, public relations professionals, are prepared for success.

    For those of us who have been around long enough to remember the morph from “Press Release” to “News Release” to appease our broadcast colleagues, your question about how the Times should present itself is dejavu all over again.

    It’s not about the platforms through which the information will be provided. It’s about a “vision” of how you, as a medium of communication, wish to be perceived and received by your publics.

    Thanks for a very insightful and thought-provoking article. I plan to share this with my colleagues…and students! Fall semester is going to be FUN!

  2. Kirk,
    Thanks for the reply… “It’s not about the platforms through which the information will be provided. It’s about a “vision” of how you, as a medium of communication, wish to be perceived and received by your publics”- very well said!

    Betting that your fall semester will be a lot of fun and would love to hear any suggestions your students come up with for a new motto!

    Thanks for taking the time to comment

  3. We do have a lot of fun, Valerie! And I definitely will let you know their suggestions…who better to ask than our future communicators? After all, they are the ones who will have to deal with it!

  4. Sara Goldfarb says:

    Valerie, you bring up a really good point! My family receives a print subscription to the NY Times and I recently noticed that the bag featured the motto “All the news that’s fit to go” along with information about mobile subscriptions. The paper itself still had the traditional motto – but perhaps they are testing out a new motto?

    I definitely agree that a new motto is in necessary since so many people are viewing their news via smart phones and online sites and the motto “All the news that’s fit to go” would be broad enough to apply in any platform.

  5. Hi Sara- thanks for taking the time to share 🙂 I do like “All the news that’s fit to go” and I think the Twitter tagline of “Where the Conversation Begins” could also have interesting meanings across each platform. It will be interesting to see whether they maintain separate mottos for each channel or bring everything together as part of the same brand.

  6. “All the news that’s fit to read” ???

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