The Daily News – An Anatomy of a Dead Newspaper

Daily News

Daily News is the leading source of news and opinion for New York City and beyond. The award-winning writers and columnists cover national and local news, politics and sports with a distinct New York City perspective. In-depth city news coverage, intense sports reporting on the Yankees, Mets and Giants plus celebrity gossip and comics round out the mix.

With millions of Americans living in “news deserts,” it’s essential to find ways to restore quality local journalism, and this film is a valuable contribution. It’s a deep and absorbing anatomy of what happens when a newspaper dies, and how the people left behind try to make sense of the world around them without it.

The Yale Daily News (or YDN, as it is known to many) is an independent student paper that has published every day during the academic year since 1878 and serves the campus community of Yale University in New Haven, CT. It is the oldest college daily in the United States. Its students editors and writers have gone on to prominent careers in journalism and public service. They include William F. Buckley, Lan Samantha Chang, John Hersey, Joseph Lieberman, Sargent Shriver, Strobe Talbott, and Garry Trudeau.

In the 1920s, the Daily News grew into a major tabloid newspaper with circulation far exceeding its rival the New York Post. It found abundant subject matter in political wrongdoing and social intrigue, including lurid photographs and celebrity gossip. Its editorial stance was generally conservative populism, though it supported isolationism in the early stages of World War II.

By the end of the century, it was still one of the nation’s top newspapers, but its circulation dipped below 200,000. It survived, however, with a focus on local news and sports. The New York Times called it “a scrappy tabloid devoted to local news and sports” and an “exciting, literate publication.”

After the Daily News was sold to cost-cutting hedge fund Tronc in 2015, it began to lose readers rapidly. The euthanasia of the traditional media in America is occurring at a dizzying pace, and the impact on citizens is being felt everywhere. This absorbing documentary demonstrates that there is a place for locally-focused journalism, and gives insight into the challenges it faces in the modern landscape. The story of the McKeesport Daily News is not unique, but the lessons it teaches are. This is a must-see for anyone interested in the future of journalism in America.