The Yale Daily News

Founded in 1878, Yale Daily News is the nation’s oldest college daily newspaper and serves students and the university community. The newspaper is financially and editorially independent of the administration and publishes Monday through Friday during the academic year. In addition to the weekly publication, it also produces several special issues throughout the year that celebrate Yale’s Indigenous, Black, Latino and Asian American communities in collaboration with campus cultural centers and student groups.

The Yale Daily News Historical Archive contains digitized versions of printed copies of the Yale Daily News from its inception through 1996, and is available free to the public. The archive is a digital extension of the print collection of the Yale Library, and includes full text for most years of the paper.

Local newspapers serve as the lifeblood of our democracy, delivering important information and vital insights into our world. Unfortunately, technology has caused massive disruption in journalism, throwing thousands of reporters out of work, closing newsrooms, and leaving vast areas with no traditional sources of news. The story of McKeesport, Pennsylvania—a once-thriving industrial city that lost its local newspaper in 2015—is a microcosm for the country at large.

Andrew Conte’s Death of the Daily News, which chronicles the impact of this loss on one small town, is a timely and deeply insightful book that offers hope for the future of local journalism. By examining the strengths and weaknesses of both traditional top-down journalism and the ‘citizen gatekeepers’ who have since filled the void, Conte argues that the answer to the crisis lies within local communities—where people understand the value of informed, civic engagement.

Unlike dailies, which tend to focus on big-picture stories—like meteors hitting Saturn or political turmoil in Europe—local weeklies often report on things that are more relevant to a reader’s everyday life: changes in their children’s school systems, new zoning regulations that could affect their property values, local economic developments, or even the quality of their water. As a result, many people who subscribe to both a daily and a weekly feel they can’t live without their weeklies.

Weekly newspapers sell themselves to advertisers by arguing that they don’t have the same “wasted circulation” that a major metropolitan daily has, because their readers are more engaged in their community and are more likely to buy products and services that support local businesses. They’re also more likely to be upper income and educated, which is appealing to marketers. But there’s also another, more elusive factor at play: the quality of local journalism. In fact, the higher-quality news produced by weekly papers may be what’s keeping them alive. The ad salespeople who run these publications seem to know this, and they’ve developed strategies that take advantage of the unique attributes of their medium.