Digital Archive of the Daily News

Daily News

In its 20th-century heyday, the Daily News was a brawny metro tabloid that thrived on crime and corruption. Its reporters won Pulitzer prizes for commentary, local reporting and international coverage. It was the inspiration for The Daily Planet, the tabloid depicted in the 1994 film “The Paper.” It was also one of America’s best-selling newspapers. But by the early 21st century, it was in financial trouble. Its publisher, New York real estate developer Mortimer B. Zuckerman, sold it to Tronc, the media company that now owns the Chicago Tribune, in 2017.

Newspapers are published at regular intervals, usually daily or weekly. They usually contain news stories, but may also include sports, politics and government, business, finance, weather and climate, crime, science, health and medicine, society, fashion and lifestyles, food, and other topics of interest to the general public. A single story in a newspaper is called a press clipping. In the past, press clips were compiled by hand from hard copies of newspapers and magazines. More recently, they have been digitized. Today, press clips are compiled from all types of media including print, television, radio, web and social.

While there is no single definition of what makes a newspaper legitimate, most would agree that it must be an independent source of news. Many newspaper companies have tried to bolster their credibility by appointing ombudsmen, developing ethics policies and training, using more stringent corrections procedures, communicating their editorial process and rationale with readers, and asking sources to review articles prior to publication.

Newspapers have historically been a significant part of American civic life. They provided the primary source of information for citizens, informed voters during elections and shaped debates on important public issues. However, as other forms of media have become increasingly available, newspapers have seen their readership and revenue decline.

The Yale Daily News Historical Archive provides access to digitized versions of printed Yale Daily News issues from January 28, 1878 through June 27, 2020. This digital archive contains a searchable, full text version of each article as well as a PDF of the entire issue.

In its heyday, the Daily News was able to sustain itself financially by bringing in subscribers with sensational headlines and stories. For example, in 1975 it attracted readers with the screamer, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.” While the Daily News no longer has such a dominant presence in the market, its market penetration continues to be high. This measure is a key indicator of how well newspapers are doing and is defined as the percentage of households that receive a newspaper compared to the total number of households in the newspaper’s market area. In the 1920s, on a national basis, daily newspapers achieved a penetration of 123 percent. As more people have become familiar with other media, however, that figure has dropped dramatically to less than half. As a result, the number of publications in circulation has declined as well. Some newspapers are closing their doors altogether.

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