For over five decades, the Daily News was one of the most renowned newspapers in the United States. It was the city’s go-to news source, boasting large photographs, sports coverage, and cartoons. The paper’s reputation grew as a moderate liberal alternative to the right-wing New York Post.
By the mid-1970s, the Daily News had started shifting. Instead of just delivering the day’s headlines, the newspaper began offering a more in-depth look at the city. Today, it’s a popular source for in-depth local news. And it’s available in an interactive edition, which offers readers the ability to swipe between pages and share stories through email.
Despite the changes, the Daily News’ mission has remained unchanged: to chronicle life in New York. It includes features, sports, and opinion formers, along with classified ads. This includes a section for celebrity gossip, and it’s won numerous awards for its commentary.
The Daily News’ editorial stance has been described by the New York Times as “high-minded and flexible,” and it has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes for public service. In the past decade, it’s had more than 200,000 daily subscribers.
Since its founding in 1919, the Daily News has thrived when it’s been at the center of important scandals, particularly crime. Whether it’s a reporter strapping a camera to his leg as he narrates a story or a reporter taking a photo of an execution, the Daily News’ investigative journalism has been celebrated.
Its staff has been characterized by a diverse set of talents. From a stringer who previously worked for the New York Times, to a social media associate, to a reporter who has covered the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, each journalist is a talented and independent voice.
At the same time, the Daily News has been in financial trouble for years. A few months ago, the newspaper was sold for $1 to Tronc, a Chicago-based media company. Before that, the paper was bought from Mortimer B. Zuckerman in 1993. During that time, it became the largest circulation newspaper in the United States.
The Daily News was also a pioneer in digital publishing. As early as the 1930s, the paper used the Associated Press wirephoto service. Several legendary journalists were once located in the Daily News’ newsroom, including Clark Kent and Lois Lane. But the newspaper eventually lost its reputation as the city’s leading tabloid.
With the rise of social media and mobile phones, the Daily News has faced massive disruptions. As technology erodes traditional newsrooms, citizens have become gatekeepers to the information they receive. They are increasingly separating facts from gossip, and they’re beginning to find local news in bleak places. Those are all problems that the book Death of the Daily News explores.
While the book’s subject matter is painful, the author approaches the subject with empathy and a clear understanding of the societal implications of a news desert. He’s able to explain how local journalism can survive in a post-printing world, while giving readers a glimpse into what happens after a newspaper dies.