The Daily News

Daily News

The New York Daily News is a morning tabloid newspaper founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News. Founded by Joseph Medill Patterson, it was a subsidiary of the Tribune Company of Chicago and quickly found success in the Big Apple with sensational stories of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons. It was the first newspaper to make a name for itself as “The Paper That Sings.”

In its early years, the Daily News was not afraid to get its hands dirty; in fact, it helped to create and define many of the genres that would later become synonymous with tabloid journalism, such as celebrity and scandal stories. It also pioneered investigative reporting and the use of photography as a journalistic tool, establishing itself as an early user of the Associated Press wirephoto service in the 1920s.

Its editorial policy was often aggressively pro-America, anti-communist and pro-labor; the newspaper was one of the first to introduce a column dedicated to the labor movement. A series of strikes in the city in the 1950s and 1960s left the newspaper nearly bankrupt, but it rebounded with a massive expansion in circulation in the 1970s. This period was marked by a resurgence in its reputation for tough reporting on social issues, including race and ethnic relations. It also developed a renown for its coverage of crime, winning Pulitzer Prizes for E.R. Shipp’s work on police brutality and for Mike McAlary’s investigation of the beating of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima by New York City police officers.

By the end of the 1980s, it was clear that the Daily News was in decline; in 1989, a Tribune-owned rival, the Chicago Sun-Times, launched what was to become its heir apparent, the Chicago Reader. By 1990, a strike by the News’s unionized workers left the paper short of money, and in 1991, controversial British media mogul Robert Maxwell bought the paper. He sought to revive the ailing newspaper’s fortunes, largely by firing many staff members and introducing non-union employees.

The Yale Daily News Historical Archive includes the complete text of the Daily News from its inception through 1996, plus abstracts for all original news items, and full-text reprints for some articles. Access to this collection is free for all users of Yale Library services. Exceptions are when the full text is restricted by copyright. This is generally the case when it contains material pertaining to a current event or is deemed by the Daily News to be insensitive. The archive is maintained and funded through the generosity of Yale College alumni and friends. To support the archive, please consider a donation. Thank you!