A Pew Research Center Fact Sheet on the State of Daily News Circulation in the United States

In the days before television, a daily newspaper was an important part of life in many towns. The Daily News featured national and international headlines along with local business, sports and entertainment news. It was a trusted source of information for many Americans, including families who gathered around the paper to read its important political and social editorials. The Daily News also embraced the role of community leader, publishing community surveys and sponsoring events in town.

In recent years, the newspaper industry has faced significant challenges as a result of changing consumer and advertising habits and changes in technology. Some newspapers have closed, others have merged or have changed their publication schedules to adapt to the digital age. The loss of these publications has left communities without an essential source of news and information, and many people have lost their jobs. In addition, the changing media landscape has led to declining advertising revenue for traditional publishers, as many advertisers have switched to online and mobile media.

The New York Daily News is a daily tabloid newspaper founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News. The newspaper was one of the first successful tabloids in the United States. Its early success was due to sensational coverage of crime and scandal, lurid photographs, and cartoons and other entertainment features. The newspaper attracted a predominantly middle class readership.

Circulation data in this fact sheet through 2012 come from the trade group formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), now called the News Media Alliance. Data from 2013 onward is based on the Center’s analysis of financial statements from publicly traded U.S. newspaper companies, which in 2020 numbered five and accounted for more than 300 daily U.S. newspapers ranging from large national papers to midsize metro dailies and local newspapers.

This research was supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which also supports the Pew Research Center’s work on news and journalism. Research Assistant Kirsten Worden contributed to this report.

This fact sheet examines the state of newspaper circulation in the United States, which has declined significantly over the past decade as readers have moved to digital platforms and other sources for their news. It offers insight into why this trend is occurring and explores some possible solutions. This is the latest in a series of reports by the Pew Research Center on the state of news and journalism in the United States. The full report can be found here. This is part of a larger project on the future of news and journalism in the digital age funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The report was compiled by Senior Researcher Michael Barthel and Research Associate Kirsten Worden.