While poking around the internet for article ideas last Friday, I stumbled across a list of lesser-known American observances, and one in particular – for obvious reasons – caught my eye. Feb. 10 is National All the News that’s Fit to Print Day.
After squealing like an excited journalist who just nailed his first front page story, I immediately decided it was a topic that could be potentially educational for readers, or if nothing else, would eat up some open column inches on our editorial page.
“All the news that’s fit to print” is a slogan created in 1897 by Adolph S. Ochs, then the owner of The New York Times. It still appears in the publication’s masthead today. It is meant to serve as a declaration of the newspaper’s responsibility to diligently and impartially report on topics the American public has a right to know.
At this point, we could easily sink into the whole hullabaloo about “fake news” and over-sensationalism by national media outlets with clear political agendas. My preference is to focus on the business of news reporting – telling the stories that educate, entertain and inspire.
The Traveller is nowhere near the same league as the New York Times or any other major metropolitan newspaper. The only area in which we share common ground is the obligation to inform.
You won’t see policy-protesting diatribes or steamy exposes in this publication – that’s not in our Army-regulated wheelhouse. Where we endeavor to shine is helping key leaders communicate what they’re doing to keep Team Lee functional and safe. We tell the stories that build teamwork and raise morale. We highlight military professionalism to promote career longevity and inspire future recruits; and we shine the spotlight on activities that reflect desirable outcomes like increased readiness, taking care of people and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
It is an often overlooked point that you – the reader – are part of the equation. Put succinctly with a bit of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfield logic, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” Great stories out there in the community are often missed because they’re never brought to our attention.
Furthermore, while I view the staff of reporters here – two government civilians and a part-time contract writer – as superheroes (Jan. 24, by the way, was National Compliment Day), they can’t possibly be everywhere or always leap into action with minutes notice. Thus, coordinate early and contribute often is a good mantra. Photo and story submissions are encouraged and always welcome.
While I doubt National All the News that’s Fit to Print Day will be remembered for more than five minutes after reading this article, hopefully, the latter recommendations will.
It is a pleasure providing relevant post and Army news to the Fort Lee community. To reach the Traveller staff, call 804-734-7147 or 734-7484. For PAO support other than command information (i.e. external media or community relations coordination), call 804-734-7451. Requests and photo/article submissions can be emailed to ArmyFortLee.PAO@mail.mil.