The Press, a depressing look at newspapers’ past

Back in Ought 8, I interned at the Indianapolis Star newspaper in Indianapolis. In the basement of the building, a dead spaced existed. It used to hold their printing press, which were often built into the foundation during original construction of a newspaper. But several years prior, they ripped it out and sold it for parts because it couldn’t handle the demands of present-day printing. This process of ripping and selling, and then printing off-site is quite common for newspapers, especially any of considerable age.

If you’ll recall, 2008 was the noticeable beginning of The Great Recession. So I took my camera down to this dilapidated basement and started spending hours taking long-exposure photos. To me it was a project both documenting and commenting on the state of newspapers. It drew a parallel between the past and future where we had a chance to decide what to do next. I was telling a story with ink spills. It was very much my story though. I used the space to express my feelings about the industry. I found old pictures of the press in the library that created this dichotomy even more but am unfortunately not allowed to publish them since the rights are held by another company.

The reaction from the newsroom was mixed but largely positive. Some people cried – those who’d worked at the newspaper before the press sold. The editor enjoyed them and said that, at the least, they should clean up the enormous mess as he was sure it violated numerous codes.


The Press