The Daily News

The Daily News is an American morning tabloid newspaper founded in 1919 in New York City. It was the first successful tabloid in the United States, attracting readers with sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons. The newspaper reached its peak in the mid-20th century, when its brassy, pictorial style and strong local news coverage made it one of the country’s most popular newspapers.

At its height, the Daily News had a circulation of more than 2.4 million daily, more than twice that of its rival, The New York Post. In addition to covering local events, the Daily News also specialized in breaking national and international news. For example, it was credited with being among the first to break the story of a Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was also an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service and used a large staff of photographers to provide the paper with pictures of major events.

In the 1990s, under the editor-in-chiefship of Pete Hamill and later Debby Krenek, the Daily News earned a reputation for strong social commentary and investigative reporting. The paper won two Pulitzer Prizes for Distinguished Commentary—in 1996 for the work of E.R. Shipp, and in 1998 for Mike McAlary’s articles about police brutality. In addition, the Daily News established a reputation for supporting and protecting the First Amendment rights of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

The paper continued to lose ground in the 2000s as competition from digital alternatives increased and its readership slipped. In 1991, controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell purchased the Daily News. He had already acquired the Daily Mirror tabloid and Britain’s Daily Telegraph, and his ambitions were to build a powerful international media empire.

During the tumultuous 1990s, Maxwell restructured the newspaper’s management and cut costs. During the 147-day strike by the newspaper’s union employees, Maxwell successfully hired non-union replacements to keep the paper in print. During this time, the Daily News was losing up to $70 million per quarter.

By 2017, the newspaper’s circulation had halved from its previous year, and in September its former owners—the Tribune Publishing Company (now Tronc)—repurchased the Daily News for the staggering sum of one dollar. The next year, Tronc embarked on a firing spree that saw half of the editorial staff cut.

Despite the challenges facing print journalism, the Yale Daily News continues to publish five days a week during the academic year. It is the nation’s oldest college daily, and many of its alumni have gone on to achieve prominence in journalism and public life—including William F. Buckley, Lan Samantha Chang, John Hersey, Joseph Lieberman, Sargent Shriver, and Strobe Talbott. The archive contains all issues of the Daily News published from 1996 to the present, as well as a Friday supplement known as WKND and special editions that celebrate Yale’s Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian American communities in collaboration with the university’s cultural centers and affiliated student groups.