The History of the New York Times

This article was written by Phin Upham

The New York Times is known for its excellence in editing. The paper puts together hard-hitting stories exploring the facets of each issue closely. Though it has never been the largest paper in circulation, it has grown to carry the reputation of one of the world’s greatest newspapers.

First sold for pennies in 1851, the Times began with the mission of catering to a more cultured and learned audience. The editors worked hard to avoid sensationalism in their stories, but that hard work came at a high cost. The paper was losing over $1,000 by the time it was purchased by Adolph Simon Ochs in 1896.

Under Ochs, the paper put a greater emphasis on providing full coverage of the news of the day. He made sweeping changes, including changing the price back to a penny (it had since gone up to try and cover some of the costs of producing it), he added a Sunday magazine section, and he eliminated fiction from the paper entirely.

Its coverage of the sinking of the Titanic is considered one of the landmark points of time that put the paper on the map. It also gained notoriety for the integrity exhibited by its reporters throughout coverage of World War II.

The Times has since changed a lot, especially as the digital age expands and evolves. Today, viewers can purchase subscriptions to the paper online to read from its articles. Though the subscription was briefly abolished in 2005, it has since come back in 2011, offering viewers limited access to some of its subscriber content.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.