Newsies is based on the story of the Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. Jack Kelly is a newsboy selling newspapers for Joseph Pulitzer and his paper, the New York World. David Jacobs leaves school temporarily and joins the newsies to help his family while his father is out of work because of a broken arm. Shortly afterwards the price of newspapers to the newsboys is raised by 10 cents per 100 papers by joint decision of Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Feeling they will be unable to bear the added cost, Jack Kelly organizes a strike with the aid of David Jacobs. As the protagonist, Jack Kelly struggles with his past as he forms an important friendship with David and his family. Along the way the boys are aided by newspaper reporter Bryan Denton and vaudeville performer Medda, as well as being hindered by Snyder, warden of "The Refuge" juvenile detention facility, and Pulitzer.