The Daily News (sometimes shortened to the News) is an American tabloid newspaper founded in 1878 and based in New York City. It is one of the oldest newspapers still in print. The News is a member of the New York Times Media Group. The Daily News website has a variety of features including a searchable archive and an interactive map. The News also has a mobile app that is free to download.
Historically, the News has been an influential source of political information. The paper grew rapidly in the early 1900s, and its circulation reached 2 million on weekdays and 3 million on Sundays by the late 1940s. Its influence was largely due to its strong anti-elitist sentiment, which bound its readers into a community centered on the idea that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”
While it is difficult to say whether the News’s politics were the cause of or the result of its success, it is clear that the News influenced many public debates and policies. The News’s editorial viewpoints and coverage choices often took positions outside of the mainstream of conservatism, and it was a partisan paper, endorsing Republican candidates for president, though it occasionally endorsed Democratic ones as well.
In the 1940s and 1950s, for instance, it espoused a reactionary populism further to the right than National Review, binding its readers into a community of white working-class identity through its anti-elitism. It also criticized foreign policy that it considered too soft or too generous to undeserving poor people, and it encouraged a sense of patriotism that included the notion that the United States was a “Nation of immigrants.”
Although the News had an enormous circulation, critics have pointed out that its political influence was limited. In an oral history interview, longtime News journalist Frank Holeman commented that politicians did not pay attention to the paper and regarded it as “a goddamn joke except for its goddamn readers.”
Nevertheless, it had a larger audience than almost any other print media outlet at the time, and its messages were frequently overshadowed by seemingly apolitical crime and human-interest stories, which carried strong political messages in their own right.
For example, the News was a key contributor to the Lavender Scare of the 1960s, which led to mass-circulation attacks on government officials who were thought to be gay. These attacks were rooted in the neoconservative worldview of the News and its sister paper, the Washington Times-Herald, that viewed homosexuals as weak or effeminate and therefore prone to corruption. The same themes of weakness and effeminacy ran through the News’s attack on foreign policy, which was tied into the populist right-wing ideology of the time. The News portrayed supposedly corrupt foreign governments as being run by “queers.” This sentiment tied into the themes of America First that permeated its commentary, and it was a factor in the popularity of the News’s America-First policies after the war. It also played a role in its promotion of nativist attitudes about immigration and in its opposition to affirmative action.