The Yale Daily News is the nation’s oldest college daily newspaper and serves Yale and New Haven. It was founded on January 28, 1878 and is financially and editorially independent. The News is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, and produces several special issues each year. These include a game day issue, Commencement Issue and First Year Issue as well as special issues celebrating Yale’s Indigenous, Black, Latinx and Asian American communities in collaboration with their affiliated student groups. The News also publishes the Friday supplement WKND, and the weekly magazine The Yale Daily News Magazine.
The News is available free of charge in print and online. Its website offers readers extensive local, national and international news coverage with a focus on politics, crime and sports as well as entertainment, lifestyle and celebrity gossip. The site offers a variety of opinion pieces and editorials as well as extensive video and photographic content.
Throughout its history, the Daily News has had a varied and colorful staff. Its first editor was a former Democrat and Republican congressman, John W. Davis (1877-1950). In the early 1920s, the paper found abundant subject matter in political wrongdoing, such as the Teapot Dome scandal and social intrigue, such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII that led to the abdication of the British monarchy. The paper was an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service, and developed a large staff of photographers.
In the later years of its life, the Daily News had a strong circulation base and was able to maintain a reputation for sexy, hard-hitting tabloid journalism. It fought back and forth with its rival, the New York Post, for decades in a fight to maintain its reputation as one of the nation’s top selling newspapers. The News was eventually relegated to the bottom of its market in the wake of the Post’s increased sales and its focus on celebrity gossip and sensational reporting.
As the world moves more and more into digital media, traditional newspapers are losing readership and being shut down. Hundreds of cities across the United States are now “news deserts” with little or no local journalism. Death of the Daily News reveals what happens when a town loses its newspaper and how citizens are trying to make sense of their communities on their own, for better and worse.
This book is a fascinating and necessary anatomy of what happens when a newspaper dies, how towns grieve, and how some people are trying to create a new kind of local journalism in the face of what seems to be a slow and inevitable demise of the old way. It is a riveting read that will leave readers with hope that good journalism can survive in the modern media landscape.