10 Unique Newspaper Slogans

1. "If You Don't Want It Printed, Don't Let It Happen" (The Aspen Daily News, Aspen, Colorado)

Started in 1978, The Aspen Daily News proudly embraces its position as a muckraking, investigative newspaper with the motto: "If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen." (In other words, watch your back!)

2. "Right is of no Sex—Truth is of no Color—God is the Father of us all, and we are all Brethren." (The North Star, Rochester, New York)

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) escaped from servitude in 1836 after escaping his Maryland master and fleeing to Massachusetts. It was here in the land of liberty that he began his antislavery movement, using his immense oratorical skills to lecture in the Northern states against slavery. He urged Northerners to assist escaped slaves in using the Underground Railroad and founded a paper "The North Star" December 3, 1847 in Rochester, New York, which was so named because slaves escaping at night followed the North Star in the sky to freedom. Its motto was "Right is of no Sex - Truth is of no Color - God is the Father of us all, and we are all brethren." 'The North Star' had a circulation of over 4,000 subscribers and eventually merged with The Liberty Paper in 1851, and was renamed 'Frederick Douglass' Paper.' It sold under this name until 1860, and then Douglass devoted the next three years to publishing an abolitionist magazine called Douglass' Monthly. In 1870 he assumed control of the New Era, a weekly established in Washington, D.C. to serve former slaves. He renamed it The New National Era, and published it until it shut down in 1874. Scarce issue of "The North Star" published April 28, 1848, Rochester, New York, listing Douglass and M.R. Delany as editors, this fine four page paper begins by stating its purpose as "The object of the NORTH STAR will be to attack SLAVERY in all its forms and aspects; advocate UNIVERSAL EMANCIPATION; exalt the standard of PUBLIC MORALITY; promote the moral and intellectual improvement of the COLORED PEOPLE; and hasten the day of FREEDOM to the THREE MILLIONS of our ENSLAVED FELLOW COUNTRYMEN." Followed by several articles on slavery, including "The Slave's Idea of Liberty" which reads "You may place the slave where you please; you may dry up to your utmost the fountains of his feelings, the springs of his thought - you may yoke him to your labor, as an ox, which liveth only to work, and worketh only to live, you may put him under any process, which without destroying his value as a slave, will debase and crush him as a rational being - you may do this, and the idea that he was born to be free will survive it all. It is allied to his hope of immortality; it is the ethereal part of his nature, which oppression cannot reach: it is a torch-lit up in his soul by the hand of Deity, and never meant to be extinguished by the hand of man. Gov. McDowell." Some dampstains, else VG to Fine.

3. "The World's Greatest Newspaper" (The Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Illinois)

A bold statement, but a great paper nonetheless—founded in 1847, The Chicago Daily Tribune, owned by Joseph Medill, was one of the leading voices of the new Republican Party. Daily circulation grew from about 1,400 copies in 1855 to as high as 40,000 during the Civil War, when the paper was a strong supporter of President Lincoln and emancipation.

Between the 1910s and the 1950s, the Tribune prospered under the leadership of Medill's grandson, Robert R. McCormick. Calling his operation the “World's Greatest Newspaper,” McCormick succeeded in raising daily circulation from 230,000 in 1912 to 650,000 by 1925. At that point, the paper employed about two thousand men and women.

WGN Television's call letters are also derived from the “World's Greatest Newspaper" slogan.

The slogan last appeared on the front-page nameplate Dec. 31, 1976.

4. "Australia For The White Man" (The Bulletin, Sydney, Australia)

The Bulletin was founded by J. F. Archibald and John Haynes in 1880. It played a significant role in the encouragement and circulation of nationalist sentiments that remained influential far into the next century—Its writers and cartoonists regularly attacked the British, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Jews, and Aborigines.

In 1886, editor James Edmond changed The Bulletin's banner from "Australia for Australians" to "Australia for the White Man." An editorial, published the following year, laid out the reason for the new slogan:

"By the term Australian we mean not those who have been merely born in Australia. All white men who come to these shores—with a clean record—and who leave behind them the memory of the class distinctions and the religious differences of the old world ... all men who leave the tyrant-ridden lands of Europe for freedom of speech and right of personal liberty are Australians before they set foot on the ship which brings them hither. Those who ... leave their fatherland because they cannot swallow the worm-eaten lie of the divine right of kings to murder peasants, are Australian by instinct—Australian and Republican are synonymous."

In 1961, when it was brought by Australian Consolidated Press (ACP), chief editor Donald Horne quickly removed "Australia for the White Man" from the banner.

5. "The Newspaper For Those Who Can Read" (Nasha Canada, Toronto, Canada)

Nasha Canada is a community newspaper serving over 300,000 Russian-speaking immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Russia, Ukraine, and Israel living in the greater Toronto area—and if they can read, even better!

6. "All The News That's Fit To Print" (The New York Times, New York, New York)

To set his paper apart from its more sensational competitors, publisher Adolph Ochs adopted the slogan “All the News That's Fit to Print” (first used on October 25, 1896) and insisted on reportage that lived up to that promise. Despite an early shortage of capital, he refused advertisements that he considered dishonest or in a bad taste. The slogan is still very much a part of the The New York Times to this day and is likely the most famous in the world.

7. "The Gimlet—It Bores In" (The Edmonson News, Brownsville, Kentucky)

The Edmonson News slogan "The Gimlet—It Bores In," is likely to do with the paper's tenacity in getting the story. A gimlet is, in fact, a tool that pokes holes in wood without splitting.

8. "Democracy Dies In Darkness" (The Washington Post, Washington, D.C.)

The Washington Post has a new slogan on its homepage: "Democracy Dies in Darkness."

The motto, one that has been used periodically in the past by Washington Post columnist and editor Bob Woodward, was first spotted on Friday.

Post spokesperson Kris Coratti told CNN that readers should expect to see more of it on other platforms of the publication.

"We thought it would be a good, concise value statement that conveys who we are to the many millions of readers who have come to us for the first time over the last year," Coratti said last week. "We started with our newest readers on Snapchat, and plan to roll it out on our other platforms in the coming weeks."

9. "Covers Dixie Like The Dew" (The Atlanta Journal, Atlanta, Georgia)

December 1949 – The Atlanta Journal Radio Station WSB car hits the Atlanta streets, with a newscaster holding microphone as he interviews pedestrians. The van was painted with slogans – for WSB, “The Voice of the South,” and for the Atlanta Journal, “The Journal Covers Dixie Like the Dew.”

In this edition of our Flashback Fotos series, we take a look back at our sister stations here in Atlanta, WSB Radio and WSB-TV, during their early operating years. Both have remained popular with listeners and viewers throughout the decades, even as their programming has changed with the times. And WSB Radio has a birthday coming soon. The station began broadcasting March 15, 1922, and in 2014 celebrates 92 years on the air. Now, enjoy this inside view into the workings of both operations through the lenses of our Journal and Constitution photographers.

10. "A Lively, Dashing Saucy Spirited And Independent Paper—Wide Awake At All Times And On All Subjects" (The Wide Awake, New York, New York)

As others have noted, The Watkinson Library holds some really fascinating and unmatched materials, ripe for discovery.  One particularly exciting and rare example is this 1855 newspaper The Wide-Awakes.

It was serendipity for me that Richard Ring, Head Curator at the Watkinson, unearthed this rather odd newspaper.  And it really is quite odd in many ways, and even more so in context of the publisher Robert Bonner’s other publication, The New-York Ledger.

Most obviously, the masthead layout on this paper breaks just about every one of the rules. The columns on the sides, two poems titled “Fireside Blessings” and “To an old schoolmate,” are quite a bit higher than they should be.  Usually, as they do today, a newspaper used the spaces on either side of the masthead to give the publication date and place.

It is unclear what prompted Bonner’s peculiar layout here.  The likely cause was the occasion for publishing such a newspaper, as 1855 was the year of a presidential election.  The Wide Awakes formed a large faction of a then in-decline Nativist movement usually known as the American Party.  If the party’s coffers were perhaps shrinking, then maybe they would have asked the printer they had hired to cram in as much as possible.  Or perhaps there was a mistake somewhere in the production process that misjudged the required space.

But the “R. Bonner” on the page is unmistakably Robert Bonner, publisher of The New-York Ledger.  This newspaper was likely included or somehow associated with the NYL collection originally donated to the Wadsworth Athenaeum in 1922 by one of Bonner’s sons.  The existences of The Wide Awake and The New-York Ledger collection at the Watkinson Library are quite remarkable.  No other copy of this or any date of The Wide Awake exists anywhere else.  The same is true for the Watkinson’s complete run of the NYL.

It seems worth noting, though, that both of the margin-invading poems “Fireside Blessings” and “To an old schoolmate” treat on anti-Catholic and anti-Central European bigotries.  The lone explicitly topical item on the front page levies just such an attack on the Irish journalist and pro-slavery editor John Mitchel.  Even more striking than Bonner’s willingness to publish an attack on a fellow countryman (Bonner himself was an Irish immigrant) was his exceedingly rare decision to engage in any kind of politics.  Bonner’s Ledger was almost obsessively devoted to avoiding any kind of political coverage or engagement at all.  News of the Civil War hardly ever appeared in the pages of The Ledger. Perhaps if other copies of The Wide Awake existed anywhere else besides the Watkinson, it would be possible to make a better guess.  Though this masthead claims to be the 33rd issue of the paper, there are no listings that I could find anywhere else.  Short of finding any, I’d like to think that there is some historical irony at play, with xenophobic poems running into spaces outside their usual confines.

It would be remiss of me to tell of this newspaper without mention of its spectacular masthead.  By the 1850s, newspaper mastheads had become fairly standardized in the form that survives today.  The large graphic is likely from a wood engraving, given the imprecise lines and the relative flatness of the image.  It makes the front page of this newspaper into something of a campaign poster itself.  The likelihood that this was a wood engraving also suggests that whoever commissioned this paper did not anticipate needing to print any large number of copies, as the wood plate would have worn out before long.

Many thanks to Rick Ring and everyone else at the Watkinson for help with my own research on Robert Bonner and The New-York Ledger.  The scant history of scholarship dealing with Bonner is perhaps due to the scarcity of surviving materials of any sort related to the person or the paper.  “Perhaps more than any other individuals in the nineteenth century,” the journal American Periodicals writes in their 2010 edition, “Fanny Fern and Robert Bonner are responsible for making professional authorship not only a viable profession but even a lucrative one.”  That the Watkinson holds the only complete record of such a significant story in our literary history is a special treat indeed.

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