The Daily News was once one of the most popular newspapers in the United States, attracting readers with its sensational coverage of crime. It also emphasized political wrongdoing and social intrigue. In the 1920s, it became the first tabloid newspaper in the U.S. and gained a reputation for being a moderate liberal alternative to the right-wing Post. As such, it has earned a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
For nearly a century, the Daily News has served as a voice for those who have been ignored. From its founding in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News, the paper has evolved into a full-fledged news organization that includes a lively sports section, opinion formers and prominent photographs of newsworthy events.
Today, the Daily News is owned by Tribune Publishing. This Chicago-based media company, known as Tronc at the time of its purchase, is led by media mogul Mortimer B. Zuckerman. While the publisher remains headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, the company has local bureaus in Brooklyn and Queens. Although it is no longer a daily newspaper, the New York Daily News continues to provide strong coverage of local news.
Since the paper’s acquisition by Tronc, the Daily News has seen its circulation decline. As a result, the company is now slashing its staff in half. It is unclear whether its journalists will find new jobs. In the meantime, they are working remotely.
Andrew Conte, a longtime reporter, has written a remarkably insightful book about the impact of losing a local newspaper. He explores the stages of grief that a community goes through after its newspaper dies. His observations are compelling and offer insight into what could be done to preserve local journalism in today’s world.
In Death of the Daily News, Andrew Conte argues that the public needs to understand the value of knowing about its communities. After a community loses its local newspaper, people struggle to separate facts from gossip. They often turn to social networks for their news. But the consequences of such local news deserts are not well understood. Instead, the author argues that citizens can build a new kind of local journalism.
Using compelling prose, Andrew Conte traces the steps a town must take to survive after its paper dies. His work is not only fascinating, but accessible to the general public.
A fascinating look at the loss of a local newspaper, Death of the Daily News is an important examination of the role of journalism in our society. As a journalist and a journalistic historian, Conte brings an empathetic and perceptive perspective to this subject.
Whether you are an avid reader of the Daily News or a newcomer to the paper, this book offers a valuable perspective on the way a community deals with the death of its local newspaper. And, it provides hope that the newspaper will eventually return.
If you’re interested in reading the latest issues of the Daily News, you can access digitized copies at the Yale University Library’s Historical Archive. The archive is indexed by full text, making it easy to browse through past issues. Also, an anonymous Yale College alumnus has made a major donation to the Library, which will be used to facilitate the ongoing preservation of the Archive.