The first issue appeared on 15 April 1912, edited by William H. Seed. A key feature was Dyson’s cartoons, which made a contribution to the paper’s political tone. Its politics were broadly syndicalist: it gave unconditional support to strikers and argued for a socialist revolution based on workers' self-organisation in trade unions. It also gave strong support to suffragettes and to anticolonial struggles, especially in Ireland. Early issues dealt with the loss of the RMS Titanic, emphasizing the disproportionate loss of life among crew members and poor third class passengers and demonstrating the distinct perspective of the new paper.
The Herald was official organ of the Trade Union Congress from 1922, during which point the fledgling Labour Party brought in Hamilton Fyfe who recruited prestigious journalists such as Douglas Cole and Evelyn Sharp who were supportive of socialism. He left in 1926 over disputes regarding what to publish, at which point Frederic Salusbury was appointed interim editor-in-chief. Previous to Fyfe's resignation, Salusbury had served as an editor at the Daily Express during which time he created the newspaper's gossip column, the Beachcomber, which he successfully implemented in the Herald. During this time, Salusbury began to attract middle and upper class readership, although the publication was primarily marketed to tradesmen. - The TUC sold a 51 per cent share of the Herald to Odhams Press, publisher of The People, a Sunday paper, in 1930. Odhams was interested in using its presses during the week; the TUC wanted Odhams' expertise in promoting newspapers. A promotion campaign ensued, and in 1933, the Herald became the world's best-selling daily newspaper, with certified net sales of 2 million. This accomplishment set off a war with more conservative London papers, such as the Daily Express. The Herald's sales declined as a result, yet even when it was forced to close, it was probably among the 20 largest circulation dailies in the world; nevertheless its largely working class readerships was not considered a valuable advertising market. Regular readers were devoted to their paper. Despite being re-formatted and re-named as The Sun under editor Sydney Jacobson in 1964, it continued to lag and in 1969 was sold to Rupert Murdoch's News International, which altered its format and editorial position.
The photographic archive of the Daily Herald, including the work of note photographers such as James Jarché, is at the National Media Museum in Bradford.
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