The Yale Daily News

The Yale Daily News is an independent, student-run newspaper published every weekday when the University is in session. The paper is the oldest college daily in the United States, and it has been a source of news and debate on campus for more than 130 years. Many of its past editors and writers have gone on to distinguished careers in journalism and public service, including William F. Buckley, Lan Samantha Chang, John Hersey, Sargent Shriver, Joseph Lieberman, Paul Steiger, Calvin Trillin and others.

In the late 1990s, the Daily News shifted from being a staunchly conservative publication to a more flexible centrist stance. It began publishing stories on race, welfare and social issues, and in 1996 won a Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary for E.R. Shipp’s pieces on police brutality in New York City. The Daily News also earned a reputation for supporting the rights of marginalized groups in society, such as Abner Louima, and won another Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for Mike McAlary’s coverage of his beating by police.

Its success can be largely attributed to sensational pictorial coverage and a willingness to go to great lengths in order to secure the attention of readers. In 1928, for instance, reporter Tom Howard strapped a small camera to his leg and captured an image of Ruth Snyder in mid-electrocution—a front page sensation that contributed to the death penalty being abolished in the United States.

As the News built its circulation, it expanded its physical footprint as well. In 1948 it established what would become WPIX, the New York City television station, whose call letters were based on the Daily News nickname of “New York’s Picture Newspaper.” WPIX is now owned by Tribune Co., and it is located in the former Daily News Building.

By the early 21st century, the Daily News was still one of America’s most widely read newspapers, but its circulation had fallen well below its 1940s heyday. In 2017, the Daily News was sold to Tronc, a Chicago-based media company. The sale included the newspaper’s debt, which reportedly was more than $2 billion. The sale was a blow to journalism, as it left only four major publicly traded U.S. daily newspapers, all of which were losing money.