The Daily News in the 21st Century

The Daily News in the 21st Century

Daily News

Founded in 1919, Daily News was the first successful tabloid newspaper in the United States. It attracted readers with sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons. Its editorials favored the interests of lower-class and ethnic groups in New York City, and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary in 1996 for E.R. Shipp’s articles on welfare and race issues, and again in 1998 for Mike McAlary’s coverage of police brutality against Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.

By the early 21st century, no print newspaper was unscathed by the rise of digital media and competition from a number of online news outlets. The Daily News, however, struggled to maintain its readership, eventually dropping below half a million in 2016. The paper fought back by embracing a more provocative style and tone, rehashing its 1975 headline that proclaimed “Ford to City: Drop Dead” and giving Ted Cruz the middle finger via the Statue of Liberty’s hand in 2020.

In 2022, the paper announced that it would cease printing in print form by 2024 and concentrate on a digital platform known as The Daily News E-Edition. The digital edition is available for purchase on a variety of devices, including desktops, tablets and mobile phones. The e-edition is the full version of the Daily News, and it includes all the original content.

The Daily News was founded by Joseph Medill Patterson and purchased by the Tribune Company in 1920. The paper grew to be one of the most popular in the country, and its success led to several other tabloid newspapers across the nation. In the 1930s, the News became an early user of wire photo services and employed a large staff of photographers. It also focused on political wrongdoing, as in the Teapot Dome Scandal, and social intrigue such as the romance between Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII that led to his abdication.

After decades of yielding to union demands regarding rules, jobs and overtime pay, the News was losing money. In 1990, the Tribune Company (later renamed Tronc) put the Daily News up for sale. Rather than close the paper, which would have cost in excess of $100 million in severance payments and pensions, the News’ ten unions—which formed the Allied Printing Trades Council—began a five-month strike. In the end, the News was able to continue publishing by using non-union replacement workers, but it did so at a loss of over $70 million in just the fourth quarter of 1990 alone.

In 1993, businessman Mort Zuckerman purchased the News for $36 million. He made big changes to the paper, including putting $60 million towards color presses that enabled the News to match the visual quality of USA Today. He also repositioned the newspaper as a “serious tabloid” and returned it to profitability.

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