Death of the Daily News

A rich and fascinating anatomy of a town’s loss of its newspaper and how it is trying to fill the void.

Founded in 1919, the Daily News was the first tabloid newspaper to be successful in America. At its peak, it had the highest circulation of any daily newspaper in the country and was famous for its sensational crime coverage, lurid photographs, celebrity gossip and cartoons. It was the inspiration for the film Daily Planet in the original Superman movies and its newspaper building, designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, served as a model for the later News headquarters at 450 West 33rd Street (now 5 Manhattan West).

When the Daily News closed in 2015, the town of McKeesport experienced what has happened across the nation: the closing of hundreds of local papers and the creation of vast areas without any traditional sources of news. In Death of the Daily News, Andrew Conte examines the changes that occur in a small town when its newspaper dies, how people attempt to make sense of what happens next, and whether a new way of doing journalism can rise from the rubble.

Conte argues that we need a more civic journalism that focuses on public affairs, government, and the common good rather than just entertainment and celebrity. A former investigative journalist himself, he has made it his mission to understand the current state of journalism and its future direction. Throughout the book, he draws on his deep experience in local and national news to show what can be done to save it.

The Yale Daily News is the country’s oldest college daily newspaper. Each weekday during the academic year it covers news of Yale and New Haven, including student life, sports, arts, culture and national and international events. It also features articles and columns on student issues, such as mental health, diversity, the environment and sexual assault. In collaboration with Yale’s cultural centers and affiliated student groups, the News publishes special issues each year for the Yale-Harvard game day issue, the Commencement issue and the First Year Issue.

The New York Times reports that the Daily News is the ninth most popular daily newspaper in the United States, and has an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Left, which means that this source tends to support liberal or progressive ideas and policies. The Daily News is a member of the American Society of News Editors and has won many awards for editorial integrity and journalistic excellence. It is owned by Tronc, a Chicago-based media company.