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It is published in print two days per week when the university is in session, by a staff of more than 300 students. Content is also published online on a daily basis. The DP also publishes a weekly arts and culture magazine called 34th Street Magazine. After the spring semester of 2018, The Weekly Pennsylvanian, a print publication sent to parents and alumni, ended. In its place, the DP now publishes a weekly newsletter called "The Weekly Roundup," which is content curated for parents and alumni. The DP operates three principal websites--thedp.com, 34st.com, and underthebutton.com--as well as a variety of opinion, news, and sports blogs. It has received various collegiate journalism awards.
The Daily Pennsylvanian was founded in 1885 as a successor to the University Magazine, a publication by the Philomathean Society. The newspaper has been published daily since 1894, except for a hiatus from May 1943 to November 1945 on account of World War II. The DP broke away from the university in 1962 to become an independent publication, incorporating in 1984 to solidify its financial and editorial independence from the university. Also in 1962 the previously all-male daily began to accept female students. Among the early few women were Mary Selman Hadar, formerly an editor at The Washington Post; Clara Bargellini, today a professor of art at the National Autonomous University of Mexico; and Susan Nagler Perloff, a Philadelphia freelance writer. Today the newspaper's budget is funded primarily through the sale of advertising by a student business staff.
In 2008, the newspaper was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists' National Mark of Excellence Award. In the same year, the paper won the Spring 2008 Columbia Gold Crown, awarded to eight college newspapers nationwide. It received first place in the Associated Collegiate Press's Kansas City Convention Best of Show Competition in 2008. The DP won the Pacemaker, awarded by the Associated Collegiate Press and the Newspaper Association of AmericaFoundation in 1990, 1997, 1998, 2000-2004, 2007, 2017, 2018, and 2019. It was ranked as the "most read" college newspaper by The Princeton Review in 1990, 1997, 1998, and 2001. In 2006, College Publisher awarded the DP first place in the category of Best Online Sports Coverage and, in 2008, it was awarded an online Gold Crown for thedp.com.