Yale Daily News

Daily News

Founded on January 28, 1878, the Yale Daily News is the nation’s oldest college daily newspaper. It is financially and editorially independent. The Daily News publishes Monday through Friday during the academic year and produces several special issues each year including the Yale-Harvard Game Day Issue, Commencement Issue and First Year Issue. In addition, the News has recently launched its inaugural special issues celebrating Indigenous, Black, Latine and Asian American communities in collaboration with Yale’s cultural centers and affiliated student groups.

In the 1920s, as the newspaper reached its peak circulation of 2.4 million per day, it became famous for its brassy pictorial coverage and willingness to go one step further than the competition in order to grab attention with the front page. A memorable example was in 1928 when reporter Tom Howard strapped a hidden camera to his leg and photographed Ruth Snyder mid-electrocution—which the News ran with the headline, “DEAD!”

The newspaper also excelled at covering social intrigue including the scandal surrounding the Teapot Dome Scandal and Wallis Simpson’s romance with King Edward VIII that led to the latter’s abdication. It was also an early adopter of the Associated Press wirephoto service in the 1930s and developed a large staff of photographers.

Over time, the newspaper shifted its focus to politics and public policy. It endorsed Democratic presidential candidates and was critical of Republicans, a stance that would persist into the 1980s. In that decade, the newspaper sank to a loss of $1 million per month as it lost business and was forced to give in to union demands over wages, work rules and overtime.

In 1993, after a series of major changes that included dropping the word “tabloid” from its name and investing $60 million in new color presses to bring it more in line with the visual quality of USA Today, the Daily News managed to reclaim its earning potential. The paper’s success in this regard was credited to the hard-nosed approach of publisher Mortimer Zuckerman, who was determined to make the newspaper “a serious tabloid and not just a New York gossip sheet.” He also aggressively negotiated with unions, cutting backroom costs and saving the newspaper millions.