The Daily News
In its 20th-century heyday, The Daily News was a brawny metro tabloid that thrived on crime and corruption. It spawned the fictional Daily Planet of the first two Superman movies, counted Clark Kent and Lois Lane among its reporters, and won Pulitzer Prizes for commentary, feature writing and international reporting. Its former headquarters at 220 East 42nd Street, designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, became an official city and national landmark and was used as the model for the Daily Planet building in the first two Superman films.
Today, the once-mighty newspaper struggles to survive amid financial crisis and declining readership. In the fall of 2018, its circulation ranked 18th among weekday newspapers in the United States, and its online version is more popular than its print edition. Amid the decline, the paper has trimmed its staff and is focusing more on local stories and a new digital-first strategy.
Founded in 1919 by Joseph Medill Patterson, the paper began as Illustrated Daily News and was the first U.S. daily printed in tabloid format. It reached its peak circulation in 1947, when it was the seventh largest newspaper in the nation.
After years of struggling, the paper was purchased by real estate mogul Mortimer Zuckerman in 1993. He sold the newspaper to Tribune Publishing (then called Tronc) in 2017 for just $1, and the new owner cut the staff in half the following year.
In the early 21st century, The Daily News shifted its editorial stance from right-wing populism to more centrist positions. In 2015, after the San Bernardino shooting, the paper ran a headline reading “GOD ISN’T FIXING THIS,” accompanied by a photo of the Statue of Liberty giving the middle finger, in response to Republican politicians who offered only thoughts and prayers after such tragedies.
The Daily News has a long history of groundbreaking journalism and investigative reporting, including its exposure of police corruption, the wrongful conviction of John Hinckley Jr. in the assassination attempt of President Reagan and, most recently, its investigation into sexual harassment by the current mayor of New York City. The newspaper has also won numerous awards for its photography.
An anonymous Yale College alumnus made a significant gift in support of the Daily News Historical Archive project, which enables the archive to continue its work. The Daily News archive is open to researchers and the general public. Visit the archive online, or view the collection in person at the Yale University Library.