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Memorial University of Newfoundland - Digital Archives Initiative


The search box above will search only The Daily News. The search box below will search:
The Daily News, The Colonist, The Daily Star, The Evening Advocate, The Evening Herald, The Harbor Grace Standard, The Morning Courier, The Patriot And Terra-Nova Herald, The St. John's Daily News, The Telegram, The Twillingate Sun, The Western Star plus all newspapers in the CNS News Collection

Note:: Descriptions of the newspapers came from Suzanne Ellison's Historical Directory of Newfoundland and Labrador Newspapers (http://www.library.mun.ca/cns/nlnews/)

Daily News. Published St. John's N.L. 1894-1984
At present, the only issues of the Daily News available through the DAI are for the years 1955 to 1963.

When it first appeared, the Daily News acknowledged "we do not make the time-honored apology that we are filling a long-felt want" and promised to take an independent course in politics. "Sanitary affairs and all matters tending to the advancement of our social condition will receive special attention in our columns and it is our desire to be the organ, not of the Municipal Council, but of the Municipality of St. John's" (Feb. 16, 1894).

The early issues had four pages with most of the space devoted to advertisements and serial fiction. There was also court news, legislative news and a small amount of international news. Much of the municipal news was of a light nature, describing, for example, a runaway bread wagon, a dog biting a policeman, a clergyman falling on ice and part of a brick wall falling down.

The Daily News quickly assumed an opposition stance toward the governing Whiteway party. "Fiercely radical in profession, but tory in spirit, they have no idea of upsetting the established order of things and have become staid and solid office-holders, extinct political volcanoes" (Feb. 17, 1894).

The Daily News editorially opposed the "government organ" and "violent liberal journal" (Feb. 17, 1894), the Evening Telegram on political and civic matters. Despite this, business relations between the papers were courteous. "On more than one occasion, difficulties with the Mechanical Department arose, and we ever found Mr. Herder willing to give a helping hand." (July 7, 1907). After 1900, the Daily News bickered continually with the Evening Herald , who said of it: "Morine's flow of natural gas is as noxious and uncontrollable as ever, and the 'News' is the medium thro' which it is disseminated to a disgusted public" (Jan. 17, 1901).

In October 1905, the paper acquired a Duplex Press and expanded to 6 pages. It took on a more modern appearance with banner headlines and large illustrations. Special sections of Harbour Grace, Brigus and Avondale news were added. The News took the side of the merchant classes, expressed concern about the tolerance for smuggling, and supported prohibition. When the News was in opposition to the government, it tended toward sensationalism.

From 1908 to 1917, the News supported the People's Party headed by former Liberal Edward Morris, "a man that up to a year or so ago, the same editor had nothing too bad to say or think of."(10) After the Great War, the News found itself on the same side as the Evening Telegram, supporting the Liberal-Labor Party of M.P. Cashin and J. C. Crosbie, and opposing Squires, whom it accused of being a puppet of Coaker. (Jan. 23, 1920). Coaker's paper was the major opponent at that time: "The Advocate is, perhaps, the most ludicrous paper that ever struck our shores, for its big headlines and bluff articles and faked messages are the laughing-stock of all men" (Nov. 1, 1919).

The paper blamed the Squires government and the authorities for causing the riot of Apr. 6, 1932 and effusively praised the Alderdice administration which followed. In 1948, the Daily News supported at least a temporary return to Responsible Government before any decision on Confederation was made. The paper supported the Progressive-Conservative Party in 1949 but later became increasingly favorable toward Smallwood and the Liberals. When the Smallwood government was defeated in 1971, former cabinet minister Bill Callahan became publisher. For a short time, they published a column by Smallwood and the paper continued to be strongly Liberal in policy.

During the trawlermen's strike in 1975, the Progressive-Conservative government temporarily withdrew its advertising over the News' coverage of the situation. "Boy, it's those damn' editorials you've been printing on your front page" explained a government official (Mar. 3, 1975). The paper was a strong critic of the Peckford administration, notably for his lack of agreement with the federal government on offshore oil and gas development. Peckford did not withdraw government advertising because of this, but the News had continued financial problems, nearly folding in 1981. In early 1982, it changed to a tabloid. "With the change in dimensions came a marked difference in the style in which the news content was presented," the Evening Telegram tactfully stated on June 6, 1984.

The Daily News finally went into receivership in 1984, leaving St. John's with only one remaining daily paper. A partial index to the Daily News is available in the Provincial Reference and Resource Library.



If you have a Newfoundland / Labrador question please contact the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at cnsqeii@mun.ca

Click here to see other Newfoundland and Labrador newspapers available on the DAI.

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