Originally founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News, the New York City tabloid newspaper the Daily News quickly became the most popular newspaper in the United States. A pioneer in tabloid journalism, it attracted readers with sensational stories of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons and other entertainment features. The News competed with its even more sensational rival, the New York Post, to become one of the best-selling newspapers in the nation.
By the 1960s the News had adopted a more centrist editorial position, and from the 1970s to the 1990s it was known as a moderately liberal alternative to the right-wing Post. The News was an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service in the 1930s, and built up a staff of photographers. The paper was also a major advertiser in both the United States and abroad.
The News was known for its investigative journalism, especially in the realm of government corruption. The paper was a leader in exposing corrupt police officers and other public officials, and was at the forefront of the war on drugs.
A major source of revenue for the News was its real estate section, which featured homes and other properties for sale or rent, with listings accompanied by color photos. The News also was a major publisher of books. During the 1970s, the newspaper also published several syndicated cartoonists who created characters and story lines for television and other publications.
In the mid-1980s, the News was repositioned as a tabloid again with a higher focus on crime and celebrity gossip. The paper was also refocused on local politics and sports, and its news coverage was more comprehensive. However, the News struggled to keep up with the rising competition from other tabloids and ceased to be the dominant player in the New York market.
By the turn of the 21st century, the Daily News was still a well-respected newspaper, but its circulation had declined significantly from its mid-20th-century peak. Despite its diminished size, the Daily News has continued to produce high-quality journalism and is widely considered to be one of the leading newspapers in the country.
The Yale Daily News Historical Archive consists of digitized copies of the Yale Daily News (YDN) that are fully searchable and available to the general public. This archive provides an invaluable record of American life through the prism of a unique institution, the oldest college daily newspaper in the United States. The Archive was made possible through a generous gift from an anonymous Yale alumnus. We would like to thank him for his generosity and for helping to ensure that future generations will be able to read these historic records. The YDN Archive is an essential resource for the study of journalism and American culture.