In fall 2011, a few months after News Corp. closed News of the World as a result of the phone-hacking scandal, the company announced the sale of their East London headquarters, nicknamed Fortress Wapping. Tom Stoddart, who worked as a photographer for the Sunday Times, another New Corp. publication once housed at the Wapping site, wanted to see what a usually bustling newsroom would look like in its newly abandoned state. The surviving newspapers have slowly moved over to a new location, and many newsrooms at Fortress Wapping had already been demolished, but Stoddart was finally able to gain access to the offices of The Sun a few weeks ago. Here are some photos he shot.
“I’ve worked in newspapers and magazines all my life,” he told me by phone. “A newsroom is a really busy, dynamic, exciting place to be. These scenes were very much just the opposite. It was quite eerie and a little bit sad.”
Stodddart calls the newspapers a fabric of English life, and it was important to him to document “a decline of an empire,” he said.
“I’ve been a photographer for 41 years but I’ve never been in a newsroom as quiet as this one,” Stoddart said.