Yale Daily News

Founded on January 28, 1878, the Yale Daily News is the nation’s oldest college newspaper. The News is financially and editorially independent, publishing Monday through Friday during the academic year. It also publishes the Friday supplement WKND and several special issues throughout the year, including the Yale-Harvard Game Day Issue, Commencement Issue and First Year Issue. The News also partners with Yale’s cultural centers and affiliated student groups to produce special issues dedicated to the diversity of the community.

The Daily News was America’s first tabloid newspaper and reached its peak circulation in 1947, at 2.4 million copies per day. It was also one of the most influential papers in the world and is credited with helping launch the tabloid genre and influencing newspapers worldwide to follow suit. The News is often cited for its sensational pictorial coverage and willingness to go the extra mile in order to grab attention, such as when a Chicago Tribune reporter strapped a camera to his leg during Ruth Snyder’s electrocution and published an image of her mid-electrocution on the front page of the Daily News with the headline “DEAD!”

In later years the newspaper struggled to keep up with its rivals in the highly competitive New York City market, particularly the more sophisticated and mainstream New York Post and the even more sensational rival tabloid New York Mirror. The News was also hit hard by the 1978-79 multiunion strike that crippled its competitors but not its own, losing 145,000 daily readers during that period.

Eventually, the News began to focus more on political wrongdoing such as the Teapot Dome scandal and social intrigue such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII that contributed to their abdication. It was an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service and developed a large staff of photographers. The paper was also an innovator in layout and design, experimenting with smaller, easier-to-read tabloid format and incorporating more titillating and scandalous stories into its pages.

In the 1990s, under new editors-in-chief Pete Hamill and Debby Krenek, the Daily News became a fierce advocate for the First Amendment and the rights of its readers, particularly those who were disenfranchised or otherwise marginalized in society. The News grew increasingly politically active and won Pulitzer Prizes for E.R. Shipp’s pieces on race and welfare and Mike McAlary’s coverage of police violence against the Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.