“AMERICA: Who Stole The Dream?” reads a poster in the newsroom of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Amid towering piles of papers and notepads, styrofoam coffee cups and creaking, half-broken office chairs, this is the question asked by photographer and writer Will Steacy.
Deadline, shot over five years in the newsroom and printing plant of The Inquirer, is just brilliant. Through this collection of images of journalists, desks, posters, memos, paper reels and neolithic technology, Will evokes such a vivid sense of place that you can almost sniff the stale smell of smoke on a stressed-out editor’s breath. Each image is named, dated and given the exact time at which it was taken; tellingly, most are outside of the nine till five. If you’ve seen series five of The Wire, the scene might feel familiar. Looking at these pictures, I felt like I’d stepped into the offices of the real life The Baltimore Sun.
“NEWSPAPERS. HERE TODAY. HERE TOMORROW” reads another poster, somewhat ironically, given that the newspaper industry is the fastest shrinking in America. Following The Inquirer through bankruptcy and a buy-out, Will captures both the bustle and the boredom. From a family boasting five generations of newspaper men, Will creates a nostalgic ode to a bygone era of print journalism whilst wearing a wry smile. A tray named “Future Ads” lies empty, a note reads “There are lies, damned lies and newspaper circulation figures” and a paper with the headline “Jobs” has been chucked into a waste bin. See the whole story here.