The Daily News Archive at Yale University

The Daily News Archive at Yale University

The Daily News, founded in 1919 in New York City as the Illustrated Daily News, was the first successful tabloid newspaper in America and once had a circulation of more than two million. It attracted readers by sensational pictorial coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, cartoons and entertainment features. The newspaper also included a large amount of international news, particularly the politics of the day.

The paper’s editors and writers, especially in the 1920s and 1930s, often went to great lengths to obtain attention-grabbing front page stories. For example, on January 12, 1928, the newspaper carried an image of Ruth Snyder mid-electrocution after she was sentenced to death for murdering her husband. The resulting front page was a record-breaker.

A major focus of the News was political corruption, but it also devoted considerable space to social intrigue, such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII that led to her abdication. The newspaper also had a large staff of photographers.

In the 1990s, the Daily News began to develop a reputation for strong writing on social issues, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for E.R. Shipp’s columns on race, welfare and social injustice and another in 1998 for Mike McAlary’s coverage of police brutality against Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. It also gained a reputation for protecting the First Amendment and fighting for the rights of citizens who were perceived to be voiceless.

The Daily News continues to include intense city news coverage, celebrity gossip and classified ads in addition to the more traditional elements of a newspaper such as an opinion section, sports section and comics. The News has also been a leader in the development of online journalism, publishing one of the first websites for a metropolitan newspaper and continuing to push the boundaries of technology.

The Yale Daily News Historical Archive is made possible through the generous gift of an anonymous Yale alumnus. This gift facilitated the migration of the Archive to a more user-friendly platform and helped ensure its ongoing maintenance and preservation. The Yale Daily News is the nation’s oldest college daily and publishes Monday through Friday during the academic year and offers a weekly Friday supplement called WKND, as well as a Commencement Issue and Yale-Harvard Game Day Issue. The Daily News is financially and editorially independent from the university. Many of its alumni have gone on to prominent careers in journalism and public life. The News is the publisher of YDN magazine and several special issues each year celebrating Yale’s Indigenous, Black, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in collaboration with those groups and affiliated student organizations. Copyright for Yale Daily News content not appearing in the archive is owned by the authors or other creators of such works, and is not available for use by third parties. For information on obtaining permission to reuse such content, see our Permissions site. YDN articles are written by students at Yale and are based on news reports from the media, government and other sources.