The Yale Daily News Historical Archive was made possible by an anonymous gift from a Yale College alumnus. The Yale Daily News is the oldest college newspaper in the United States and remains a vital source of information on campus, as well as an important part of Yale’s intellectual and cultural heritage. The archive is available to the public free of charge through this website and in print at the Yale University Library. For more information about obtaining permission to use the archive, please visit the Yale Daily News Rights and Permissions site.
The Daily News is a daily American tabloid founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson as the Illustrated Daily News. It became the first US newspaper printed in tabloid format and reached its peak circulation in 1947 at 2.4 million copies per day. The paper has also been known as the New York Daily News and New York Times Daily. The Daily News is based in the New York City borough of Manhattan and maintains an office at 4 New York Plaza in Lower Manhattan.
Daily News is published by Tronc, Inc. The newspaper’s editorial staff consists of journalists, columnists, and opinion formers. Its reporters cover national and local news, and its writers and columnists often specialize in a particular subject area, such as sports, religion, or politics. The newspaper also contains comics, a section for classified ads, and a section with coverage of popular entertainment.
As the dominant newspaper in its market, the Daily News has been a leader in many innovations, including tabloidization, television, and radio. In the 1940s, it established what would become WPIX (Channel 11 in New York) with a call sign derived from its newspaper nickname; and bought what later became the FM station now called WFAN-FM.
It has been a major force in New York City politics, supporting the Democratic Party in a time when most other newspapers favored Republicans. The Daily News has also been a leader in investigative journalism, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1975 for its screamer headline, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.”
Circulation is a key measure of newspaper health. In the 1920s, when newspaper production was at its height, a typical daily newspaper in the United States had market penetration of about 123 percent—meaning that every household received one copy of the newspaper. This figure dropped to less than 50 percent by the early 2000s, and continues to decline.
In an effort to make its news more accessible, the newspaper changed from a broadsheet format to a compact edition in 2005. This version is referred to as the “smart tabloid,” because it features all of the content of a traditional broadsheet but is much smaller and easier to read. Its headlines are often more provocative and evocative than those of the standard edition, and its writers strive to engage and entertain readers with their stories. The newspaper’s main competitor is the New York Post, which has a much larger circulation than the Daily News.