Death of the Daily News
The news media landscape is changing rapidly, as newspapers close and new forms of media emerge. The loss of local journalism has profound societal effects that are not fully understood. In Death of the Daily News, Andrew Conte offers a deep and sympathetic look at one town’s struggles to make sense of its community when its newspaper goes under. His article is a rich, fascinating, and necessary anatomy of what happens to a place when its newspaper dies—and how some people are trying to build a new kind of local journalism.
The New York Daily News was once the nation’s biggest newspaper, its headlines a mix of fact and fiction. It was famous for its sensational stories about celebrity deaths, but also covered crime and politics in an exhaustive manner. In the 1970s, it was at its peak with a tabloid circulation of more than 200,000 copies. It was a top contender with its New York Times rival, able to attract readers with such headlines as “Mom-And-Pop Shop Killer” and “Ford To City: Drop Dead.”
In recent years the Daily News has suffered from declining circulation, the loss of advertisers, and the rising dominance of social media platforms. Its parent company, Tribune Publishing, has been under pressure from investors. The newspaper’s publisher, Patrick Soon-Shiong, has come under intense scrutiny for allowing a cost-slashing hedge fund to take over the parent company. The New York Daily News and its Chicago Tribune have been a major target of cost-cutting measures by the hedge fund, which has instituted buyouts and cuts at the paper since taking over last year.
Originally the Illustrated Daily News, the New York Daily News is the oldest daily newspaper still in print in the United States. The paper’s editorial stance has shifted over the years, from a pro-isolationist position during World War II to a liberal populism in the 1980s, and later, to a more centrist stance. In recent years, the paper has focused more on politics and public policy, making it more like its rival the New York Post.
The Yale Daily News Historical Archive, which contains over 140 years of YDN issues, is made possible by an anonymous gift to the library. The gift facilitated the migration of the archive to a new platform, enables the addition of issues from 1996 to the present, and will support ongoing maintenance and development. The archive is freely available to all. For more information about the archive, click here. To search the full text of any issue, use the box in the upper left corner. You can search by title, date, author or keywords. For advanced searching, you can also use the boolean operator (AND, OR, or NOT) between any number of terms. The archive also includes many images and video clips of major events. You can zoom in on photographs and other images to see the detail. You can also listen to audio clips from speeches and news broadcasts.