Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The New York Daily News is still a crappy paper

I majored in journalism in college. I write and read a lot and have been a media observer and critic for 50 years or more.

For much of that time I dismissed the New York Daily News as crap. It continued the
"yellow journalism" prevalent early in the 20th century. 

Much of its success was due to its tabloid size -- convenient to read on the subway. For years it called itself "New York's Picture Newspaper," and provided lots of large photos for illiterate 'readers.'

It specialized in sensationalism, sexism and showbiz but delivered little important news. Columnists, gossip and sports coverage have been its strengths. 

A few years ago the News got a bit better. Its editorials moved a bit to the left of right-wing (as competing New York Post moved far-right under Rupert Murdoch). Its reporters sometimes engaged in real journalism and the paper sometimes exposed evil and promoted good.

Somehow, despite abundant sleaze, the paper has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes.

The pix of well-built women have remained, as have headlines with silly (often dirty) puns, and puns that will be understood only by those born before 1960.

Front-page headlines were often editorials. The paper has never been reluctant to mix fact and opinion, and "news" reports were often efforts to rile the populace into rage and rebellion (recently to keep carriage horses in Central Park despite the mayor's opposition).

On Sunday the paper published two anti-Shatner headlines ("Captain Jerk" and "Shat-head") that were misleading, juvenile and reprehensible.


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