“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

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.



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.