The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded, and continuously published in New York City, since 1851. The Times has won 104 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization. Its website was the most popular American online newspaper website , receiving more than 18 million unique visitors in that month.
Although the print version of the paper remains both the largest local metropolitan newspaper in the United States as well the third largest overall, behind The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, its weekday circulation has fallen since 1990, along the lines of other newspapers, to fewer than one million copies daily for the first time since the 1980s. Nicknamed "The Gray Lady" and long regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record", the Times is owned by The New York Times Company, which also publishes 18 other regional newspapers including the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe. The company's chairman is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose family has controlled the paper since 1896.
The paper's motto, printed in the upper left-hand corner of the front page, is "All the News That's Fit to Print." It is organized into sections: News, Opinions, Business, Arts, Science, Sports, Style, and Features. The Times stayed with the eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six columns, and it was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography. The Times was made available on the iPhone and iPod Touch in 2008, and on the iPad mobile devices in 2010.
The New York Times was founded on September 18, 1851, by journalist and politician Henry Jarvis Raymond, who was then a Whig and who would later be the second chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former banker George Jones as the New-York Daily Times. Sold at an original price of one cent per copy, the inaugural edition attempted to address the various speculations on its purpose and positions that preceded its release:
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.
The paper changed its name to The New York Times in 1857. The newspaper was originally published every day except Sunday, but on April 21, 1861, due to the demand for daily coverage of the Civil War, The Times, along with other major dailies, started publishing Sunday issues. One of the earliest public controversies in which the paper was involved was the Mortara Affair, an affair that was the object of 20 editorials in The Times alone.
The paper's influence grew during 1870–71, when it published a series of exposés of Boss Tweed that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall. In the 1880s, The Times transitioned from supporting Republican candidates to becoming politically independent; in 1884, the paper supported Democrat Grover Cleveland in his first presidential election. While this move hurt The Times' readership, the paper regained most of its lost ground within a few years. The Times was acquired by Adolph Ochs, publisher of the Chattanooga Times, in 1896. The following year, he coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print"; this was a jab at competing papers such as the New York World and the New York Journal American which were known for lurid yellow journalism. Under his guidance, The New York Times achieved international scope, circulation, and reputation. In 1904, The Times received the first on-the-spot wireless transmission from a naval battle, a report of the destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Port Arthur in the Yellow Sea from the press-boat Haimun during the Russo-Japanese war. In 1910, the first air delivery of The Times to Philadelphia began. The Times' first trans-Atlantic delivery to London occurred in 1919. In 1920, a "4 A.M. Airplane Edition" was sent by plane to Chicago so it could be in the hands of Republican convention delegates by evening.
In the 1940s, the paper extended its breadth and reach. The crossword began appearing regularly in 1942, and the fashion section in 1946. The Times began an international edition in 1946. The international edition stopped publishing in 1967, when The Times joined the owners of the New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post to publish the International Herald Tribune in Paris. The paper bought a classical radio station (WQXR) in 1946. In addition to owning WQXR, the newspaper also formerly owned its AM sister, WQEW (1560 AM). The classical music format was simulcast on both frequencies until the early 1990s, when the big-band and standards music format of WNEW-AM (now WBBR) moved from 1130 AM to 1560. The AM station changed its call letters from WQXR to WQEW. By the beginning of the 21st century, The Times was leasing WQEW to ABC Radio for its Radio Disney format, which continues on 1560 AM. Disney became the owner of WQEW in 2007. On July 14, 2009 it was announced that WQXR was to be sold to WNYC, who on October 8, 2009 moved the station to 105.9 FM and began to operate the station as a non-commercial.
The New York Times is third in national circulation, after USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper is owned by The New York Times Company, in which descendants of Adolph Ochs, principally the Sulzberger family, maintain a dominant role. In March 2009, the paper reported a circulation of 1,039,031 copies on weekdays and 1,451,233 copies on Sundays. According to a 2009 The New York Times article circulation has dropped 7.3 percent to about 928,000; this is the first time since the 1980s that it has fallen under one million. In the New York City metropolitan area, the paper costs $2 Monday through Saturday and $5 on Sunday. The Times has won 104 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper.
In 2009, The Times began production of local inserts in regions outside of the New York area. Beginning October 16, 2009, a two-page "Bay Area" insert was added to copies of the Northern California edition on Fridays and Sundays. The Times commenced production of a similar Friday and Sunday insert to the Chicago edition on November 20, 2009. The inserts consist of local news, policy, sports, and culture pieces, usually supported by local advertisements.
In addition to its New York City headquarters, The Times has 16 news bureaus in New York State, 11 national news bureaus and 26 foreign news bureaus. The New York Times reduced its page width to from on August 6, 2007, adopting the width that has become the U.S. newspaper industry standard.
Because of its steadily declining sales in recent[when?] decades, The Times has been going through a downsizing for several years, offering buyouts to workers and cutting expenses, in common with a general trend among print newsmedia.
The newspaper's first building was located at 113 Nassau Street in New York City. In 1854, it moved to 138 Nassau Street, and in 1858 it moved to 41 Park Row, making it the first newspaper in New York City housed in a building built specifically for its use. The paper moved its headquarters to 1475 Broadway in 1904, in an area called Long Acre Square, that was renamed to Times Square. The top of the building is the site of the New Year's Eve tradition of lowering a lighted ball, that was started by the paper. The building is also notable for its electronic news ticker, where headlines crawled around the outside of the building. It is still in use, but is not operated by The Times. After nine years in Times Square, an Annex was built at 229 West 43rd Street. After several expansions, it became the company's headquarters in 1913, and the building on Broadway was sold in 1961. Until June 2007, The Times, from which Times Square gets its name, was published at offices at West 43rd Street. It stopped printing papers there on June 15, 1997.
The newspaper remained at that location until June 2007, when it moved three blocks south to 620 Eighth Avenue between West 40th and 41st Streets, in Manhattan. The new headquarters for the newspaper, The New York Times Building, is a skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano.
The paper's involvement in a 1964 libel case helped bring one of the key United States Supreme Court decisions supporting freedom of the press, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In it, the United States Supreme Court established the "actual malice" standard for press reports about public officials or public figures to be considered defamatory or libelous. The malice standard requires the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove the publisher of the statement knew the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and difficulty in proving what is inside a person's head, such cases by public figures rarely succeed.
In 1971, the Pentagon Papers, a secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political and military involvement in the Vietnam War from 1945 to 1971, were given ("leaked") to Neil Sheehan of The New York Times by former State Department official Daniel Ellsberg, with his friend Anthony Russo assisting in copying them. The Times began publishing excerpts as a series of articles on June 13. Controversy and lawsuits followed. The papers revealed, among other things, that the government had deliberately expanded its role in the war by conducting air strikes over Laos, raids along the coast of North Vietnam, and offensive actions taken by U.S. Marines well before the public was told about the actions, and while President Lyndon B. Johnson had been promising not to expand the war. The document increased the credibility gap for the U.S. government, and hurt efforts by the Nixon administration to fight the on-going war.
When The Times began publishing its series, President Richard Nixon became incensed. His words to National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger included "people have gotta be put to the torch for this sort of thing..." and "let's get the son-of-a-bitch in jail." After failing to get The Times to stop publishing, Attorney General John Mitchell and President Nixon obtained a federal court injunction that The Times cease publication of excerpts. The newspaper appealed and the case began working through the court system. On June 18, 1971, The Washington Post began publishing its own series. Ben Bagdikian, a Post editor, had obtained portions of the papers from Ellsberg. That day the Post received a call from the Assistant Attorney General, William Rehnquist, asking them to stop publishing. When the Post refused, the U.S. Justice Department sought another injunction. The U.S. District court judge refused, and the government appealed. On June 26, 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take both cases, merging them into New York Times Co. v. United States 403 US 713. On June 30, 1971, the Supreme Court held in a 6–3 decision that the injunctions were unconstitutional prior restraints and that the government had not met the burden of proof required. The justices wrote nine separate opinions, disagreeing on significant substantive issues. While it was generally seen as a victory for those who claim the First Amendment enshrines an absolute right to free speech, many felt it a lukewarm victory, offering little protection for future publishers when claims of national security were at stake.