What Is a Newspaper?

Newspaper is a daily or weekly publication with printed news, editorials and advertisements. It can contain articles about current events, local, national and international news as well as features about people and places in a particular community. Most newspapers print in black ink on newsprint but some use color to highlight certain sections or to publish photographs. Newspapers can be published in a wide variety of sizes and formats, including broadsheet, tabloid and coupon-sized. They can be published daily, weekly or bi-weekly, and they may have a morning or evening edition.

Some newspapers are specialized and target groups of readers rather than specific geographic regions or communities. For example, there are business newspapers (e.g., The Wall Street Journal) and sports newspapers. Others focus on a specific interest group, such as a certain ethnic or religious population within a city or region, or a genre, such as music or politics. Still others offer general news and commentary.

Typically, the most important or sensational stories are given top billing on the front page or in the first section of the newspaper. More substantial articles or those with added historical or scientific importance might appear further back in the paper. Feature stories often include bylines that identify the author of the story, although they are not required to do so. Letters to the editor from readers are usually identified by name.

This website provides access to digitized versions of the Yale Daily News, a newspaper that has been published each weekday since 1878 when the University was in session. It is the oldest college daily in the United States. Many of the newspaper’s editors, writers and contributors have gone on to prominent careers in journalism or public service.

The Yale Daily News Historical Archive is an invaluable resource for scholars, historians and students of American journalism. The archive contains more than 140 years of newspaper coverage, providing a rich source of primary source materials on a wide range of subjects. The archive also includes extensive supplementary materials, including the complete text of all letters to the editor and all guest columns.

The Pew Research Center’s fact sheet on newspapers provides data on the state of the industry, from readership to advertising revenue. It is based on estimates of total readership using data from the Alliance for Audited Media and, for revenue, on calculations made from financial statements publicly released by publicly traded newspaper companies. This report is part of a larger project on newspapers in the digital age funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. It was compiled by Senior Research Associate Sarah Naseer and Research Assistant Christopher St. Aubin. The Center is independent and nonpartisan. It is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, a philanthropic foundation that supports nonprofit initiatives to inform and engage the public. Its journalism programs are supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. See our full disclaimer. For more information, see About Us.