Colorful and bold, with many large diagrams, charts, and photographs, USA Today was founded in the 1980s with the goal of providing an alternative to colorless and wordy papers of the time such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Though the paper is a consumer success, some critics have accused it of having a patronizing tone with a tendency to trivialize news stories. It has a distinct prose style, which infrequently uses subordinate clauses in sentences, and tends to have no more than three brief sentences per paragraph. This style has been imitated in other printed newspapers and magazines. It has frequently been referred to as 'McPaper', especially by more established publications.
USA Today is also well-known for its national polls on public sentiment.