History of Newspapers: New York Daily News Part 3

About the history of the United States newspaper The New York Daily News, information about the tabloid and some of their scoops.


Scoops. The Daily News was the 1st to print a story about the resignation of Bill D. Moyers as presidential press secretary.

It keeps in close touch with the police and tends toward a law-and-order point of view. William Federici, a reporter for the News, once said, "I'm sure we had an awful lot to do with defeating the civilian review board" (a proposal by Mayor Lindsay in which civilians would dominate a board investigating complaints against police). At the time the review board proposal was defeated, a News editorial said it freed "the world's finest metropolitan police force from the threat of hobbles and handicaps inflicted by cop-haters, Meddlesome Matties, Nervous Nellies, and Communists." News reporters claim that in return for the paper's friendship, the police provide exclusive tips. It was Federici's relationships with police and criminals ("guys I grew up with who turned out no good") that helped him recover the $140,000 DeLong ruby, stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in 1965.

Merits. The New York Daily News gives fine coverage of crimes and disasters; it has a good sports section; it provides 17 comic strips.

Its headlines and breezy style are excellent--a rarity in the field of tabloid journalism.

Demerits. The Daily News provides scanty coverage of world events. Frank Holeman, an editor for the paper, has said, "It isn't an important paper. . . .If Rusk wants to launch a trial balloon, he calls Scotty Reston [of The New York Times]. . . . If the cops knock off a cathouse on 72nd Street, they call us."

James Aronson, editor of the National Guardian, a left-wing weekly paper, has said that the News is "an obese, malevolent fishwife, screaming journalistic obscenities at more than 2 million persons a day, exhorting them to go out and kill a commie for Christ--or even just for fun."

Nat Hentoff, writer and critic, has said that the News "views things with stunning oversimplification, and though edited for the workingman, doesn't fight for him."

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