The Daily was founded in September 1891 as The Pacific Wave and ran under that title until June 5, 1908, having absorbed the short-lived The College Idea which ran during the 1895-1896 school year. The newspaper became a daily with its September 15, 1908 issue and changed its name to The Pacific Daily Wave. This name lasted until May 21, 1909, and the paper became The University of Washington Daily when the 1909-1910 school year began.
The Daily ceased publishing a Monday issue in 1933 during the Great Depression. In 1976, it became The Daily of the University of Washington, and in 1985 it resumed publishing on Mondays.
The Daily is overseen by the Board of Student Publications, on which sit representatives of the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW), the Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS), the Faculty Senate, the UW Department of Communication, the UW administration, the Daily newsroom, and a local professional publication. Only the publisher, assistant publisher, office manager, managing editor, photo editor, and accountants are not University of Washington students.
Aside from campus news, The Daily includes regular features, sports and opinion sections, as well as a Thursday arts and entertainment insert titled Intermission.
The Daily earned the 2006 & 2008 Apple Award for the best college newspaper (tabloid) in the United States at the CMA Spring Conventions in New York. It has also been recognized with the 2008 Mark of Excellence Award for the Best Overall Newspaper in Region X by the Society of Professional Journalists (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska).
Former awards include Newspaper of the Year from the Associated Collegiate Press in 1996, 1997 and 2000; and the Mark of Excellence Award for the Best All Around Newspaper in the nation from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1997.