New York’s heartbeat: The Newspaper
Newspapers, until recently, were the most influential tangible portal to what was happening outside world. Despite its decline, the newspaper is still a source of telling, tangible evidence of what happens WHERE the media goes. The aftermath of an early-morning New York City newspaper drop leaves a revealing, dense and intricate layer of information. As media artifacts, the drop points of these newspapers are as historically significant as the text printed within them. Particularly prior to the digitization of textual news (and, simultaneously, the sharp decline in print circulation), studying a demographical “pulsation” -movement and growth over time- of print newspaper circulation in New York City is a richly connective factor to other historical trends that may not be outwardly related.
WHERE did the newspapers go, and when did they go there? By viewing the paths, routes and places of the newspapers themselves, we can begin to unpackage socially important implications of these trends.
The platform for this project is to create a venue for an open, infinite number of historical connections that may either overlap lightly or connect directly with other vistas of cultural history.
I started by studying two facets of newspaper circulation: the 20th-century Newsboy, and the present-day newspaper Delivery Man. Through photographs and geographic research, I plotted a sampling of the WHERE of newspaper in the early 1900s. Because movement of newspaper was mostly done on foot, New Yorkers got their news close to the source: Park Row. Sharply contrasted to this tight proximity, I also traced the route of The New York Post in 2010 as it traveled from midtown Manhattan, to a South Bronx printing plant, then down to a Bay Ridge dropping point, to Staten Island via small vans and trucks, and eventually straight back to Manhattan via ferry...all before 6 a.m.