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Death of the Daily News

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The New York Daily News, often abbreviated as the NYDN or DYN, is an American newspaper founded in 1919. Originally known as the Illustrated Daily News, it was the first tabloid-style newspaper in the United States. At its peak circulation in 1947, the paper had 2.4 million readers.

The DYN was one of the most influential newspapers in the country and the first to adopt tabloid format. Its reporters and columnists covered a variety of topics including politics, crime, entertainment, and sports. The newspaper was also known for its extensive photography. Many of the NYDN’s photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz and Walker Evans, were renowned for their work. In addition to a regular news section, the newspaper published editorials, cartoons, classified ads, and a variety of special sections such as world, local, and business news.

In recent years, technology has caused massive disruption to journalism in the United States, throwing reporters out of work and shutting down newsrooms. This has left vast areas of the country without traditional local news sources—or what is often called “news deserts.” In Death of the Daily News, author Michael Conte explores what happens when a newspaper closes in a small town, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and follows residents as they try to find ways to fill the gap.

Each day, the DYN staff collects data from public records in the city of Memphis and compiles it into an easy-to-read report that is distributed free to every home and business in the metro area. The resulting database of property transfers, marriage licenses, lawsuits, tax liens, business applications, building permits, and more is available nowhere else. In its nearly century of existence, the DYN has become an indispensable resource in Memphis and is recognized around the country as a model for community journalism.

In the 1920s, like other popular dailies of its day, the Daily News sought out subjects that would appeal to its large readership, including political wrongdoing (such as the Teapot Dome Scandal) and social intrigue (such as Wallis Simpson’s romance with King Edward VIII, which ultimately led to his abdication). The newspaper emphasized photographic coverage and used it extensively in its reporting. In its original home, at 220 East 42nd Street near Second Avenue, a neo-Classical structure designed by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood, the Daily News was an architectural landmark.

The Yale Daily News Historical Archive provides access to digitized versions of printed issues of the Yale Daily News (YDN). It contains more than 140 years of YDN reporting, and is open to the public. The archive is a project of the Yale University Library. For information about obtaining permission to reproduce YDN content, please visit the YDN Rights and Permissions site.