"Get It First, But First Get It Right” was the slogan of the International New Service (INS), founded by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in 1909. The slogan is cited in print from 1923. The INS combined with the United Press in 1958 to form United Press International (UPI).
The slogan has been unofficially adopted by other news professionals as an industry motto. Television news anchor Walter Cronkite (1916-2009) often used the phrase (shortened to “Get it first, but get it right").
Wikipedia: International News Service
International News Service (INS) was a U.S.-based news agency (newswire) founded by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in 1909.
Always a distant third to its larger rivals, the Associated Press and the United Press Association, INS combined in 1958 with United Press to become United Press International (UPI). The Hearst newsreel series Hearst Metrotone News (1914-1967) was released as International Newsreel from January 1919 to July 1929 after INS. New York City’s all-news radio station, WINS originally took its name from INS.
30 June 1923, Logansport (IN) Pharos-Tribune, pg. 2, col. 4 ad:
”Get it FIRST but first get it RIGHT”
This slogan of the service covers the whole ground of news gathering and distribution. It is because I.N.S. men always get the news first and right that you are made a spectator every day, as though you were present bodily, of the stirring happenings which are making history and changing the face of civilization.
By land, sea, and air and through the net work of wires which cover all the earth for International News Service, the news is sped swiftly and accurately to this newspaper always fully, and reliably, and invariably on time.
Getting the News
By William Shipman Maulsby
New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace and Company
“First to last the truth,” “Accuracy always,” and “Get it first, but first get it right,” are only a few of the expressions given to this passion for ...
Police Communication Systems
By Vivian Anderson Leonard
Berkeley, CA: University of California Press
Speed, however, should not be attained at the sacrifice of thoroughness and accuracy. The newspaper editor’s admonition to his reporters, “Get it first, but first get it right,” can well be given to the operators of a police switchboard.
Behind the Rising Sun
By James Russell Young
New York, NY: Doubleday, Doran and Co.
barry Faris, editor of International News Service, naturally and quite rightly was furious that I had violated a rigid company rule: “Get it first but first get it right.”
Radio News Writing and Editing
By Carl Nelson Warren
New York, NY: Harper
A slogan made famous by International News Service reads, “Get It First— But First, Get It Right!”
New York (NY) Times
On Language; On the Lam, Who Made Thee?
By William Safire
Published: Sunday, March 1, 1998
GETTING IT RIGHT
At the beleaguered White House, Joseph Lockhart, a spokesman for President Clinton, lectured hectoring reporters with, ‘’I understand the competitive pressure that everybody is under, but I do think it’s a significant lowering of standards when getting it first supersedes getting it right.’’
This was an allusion to a journalistic adage that was taken up in the 1940’s by Hearst’s International News Service: ‘’Get It First, but First Get It Right.’’
In 1950, Seymour Berkson, then president of I.N.S., told a young interviewer from The New York Herald Tribune that he had made that motto the guiding light of his agency. Accordingly, the reporter handed in his copy with a picture of Mr. Berkson attached, and the suggested caption: ‘’Berkson of the I.N.S.: ‘Get it first, but first get it right.’’’
The Daily Texan (University of Texas-Austin)
Cronkite, Rooney talk election coverage during exhibit tour
Published: Friday, August 6, 2004
Veteran journalists Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney were bombarded with questions about the presidential race Friday during a tour of a new exhibit showcasing World War II memorabilia at the Center for American History.
“The [New York] Times used to have a motto: ‘Get it first, but get it right,’” Cronkite said. “That should be a dominating principal for every journalist.”
July 24, 2009 6:11 PM
Katie Couric’s Notebook: Walter
Posted by Katie Couric
Walter Cronkite used to say “get it first, but get it right.”
New York City • Media/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (0) Comments • Thursday, July 30, 2009 • Permalink