“This Newsman Ink That Runs Through My Veins”

My father spent his life in this newsroom. Now I’m witness to how the business has forever changed.

Photo by Will Steacy

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In July 2012, after enduring bankruptcy, plummeting circulation, staff buyouts, and waves of layoffs, the Philadelphia Inquirer moved out of the “Tower of Truth,” the landmark building it had occupied since 1925. Photographer Will Steacy, the descendant of five generations of newspapermen—his father was laid off in 2011 after 29 years at the Inquirer—captured the newsroom before and after it downsized for the post-print era. Steacy went through volumes of family archives and recently recorded the following conversations with his father about the family’s experiences in the newspaper business.

Click the arrows below to listen to audio clips and browse images.


The Tower of Truth

The home of the Philadelphia Inquirer for more than 80 years.

 

The Family Business

Will’s father reminisces about Will’s grandfather John, who was also a newspaper editor.

 

Copyboy

Will’s father describes his first newspaper job.

 

First Big Story

Will’s father and grandfather had similar “big breaks.”

 

Tools of the Trade

Will’s father describes paste pots, typewriters, and computers throughout the decades.

 

The AIDS Story

One of the Inquirer‘s most ambitious stories.

 

“Mirror to America”

Will’s father turns the mic back on Will.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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