In its heyday in the 20th century, the Daily News was a brawny metro tabloid that thrived when it dug into crime and corruption. It served as the model for The Daily Planet, the newspaper that counted Clark Kent and Lois Lane among its staff in the first two Superman films, and won Pulitzer Prizes for commentary and feature writing. It was also the inspiration for the movie The Paper, which starred Ben Stiller as newspaper mogul Rupert Murdoch. Today, the newspaper has a lower circulation but is renowned for its New York exclusives, sports reporting and celebrity gossip.
The newspaper business has been transformed by the digital age, with most readers accessing their news online rather than in print form. In many communities, local newspapers are disappearing at a rapid pace. The consequences of these ‘news deserts’ are profound, yet not fully understood. Andrew Conte explores the issues in a wise and deeply reported book that is an important contribution to our understanding of our troubled times.
Most newspapers have general interest articles. These cover a broad range of topics, including politics and political figures; social events and intrigue; crime, murder, and other violent crimes; science and medicine; business; weather; and natural disasters. Some have special sections devoted to particular subjects such as sports, society, and fashion, clothing and home furnishings. Other types of newspapers, known as specialized papers or tabloids, are designed for specific groups of people in limited geographic areas such as ethnic groups within a city or region or niche interests such as astronomy, gardening, and golf.
Newspapers typically contain photographs and other images such as charts, graphs, sketches, advertisements, and cartoons. They can be printed in black and white or color. They may or may not list the authors of articles; in some cases, they only reference the wire service that provided the article. Some, especially editorials and letters to the editor, do not name the authors at all.
A lead is a brief summary of a news story that appears at the top of the front page or in a major section. It describes what happened and includes basic facts, such as when and where the event occurred and who was involved. The lead should also include a brief description of why the event was significant or interesting.
Following the lead is usually a series of subheadings that provide more detail about the story. These often contain quotes from experts in the field who can comment on the significance of the event and/or its impact. The last paragraph of the story, sometimes referred to as the tail, sums up the main points and provides a hint about what might happen next. Alternatively, the tail could be an invitation to read more of the story or a call to action that encourages the reader to do something. In some countries, the tail is also called a caption or a snippet.