Photographer Tom Stoddart worked extensively with the Sunday Times during the late 1980’s. At this time, the News International Fleet Street building was buzzing with the newsrooms of The Sun, The Times, The Express, The Mail, The Mirror and The News of the World.

Following the NOTW phone hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch sold the headquarters in 2011 and the site began to be redeveloped as luxury apartments.

Tom spotted this as an opportunity to capture the empty halls of what had once been Britain’s best selling Sunday newspaper.

As a contributor, I am always looking for interesting stories. When I realized the News International building would be stripped out, I thought capturing the empty newsrooms would make for a great story. I put the idea to Bob Ahern, director of the Getty Images Archive and Bob approached the developers who allowed me access for just one hour.

When I got to the former news floor, it was spooky walking through the empty rooms. The historic front pages like ‘Freddy Starr ate my Hamster’ and ‘Gotcha’ still hung in frames on the walls.

I worked in Fleet Street when I first moved to London and I remember the newsrooms as being busy, high octane places. Depending on what was happening that day, it was a place of great energy.

Walking down the corridors now, there was nothing left but electrical terminals. Blinds blowing in the wind.

It really brought home to me that the paper didn’t exist anymore.

In the hysteria of the phone hacking scandal, people forget that the NOTW ran some amazing campaigns such as Sarah’s Law and they often helped to put criminals behind bars. It was a well-loved product.

To see the editor’s parking space overgrown with weeds is an illustration of how the mighty have fallen.

The repercussions of what happened are being felt worldwide; the general feeling in the industry is one of confusion and fear. 

The empty newsroom captures the fall of Murdoch’s empire essentially.

Let it be a lesson. Hacking was a step too far.

  • 153008115. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: Deserted buildings and offices inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. The News International site was sold for £150m in May 2012 to property construction firm Berkeley Group who specialise in building high quality homes and appartments. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008070. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: The private parking space for the editor of the News of the World at the former 153008070. News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008046. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: The deserted interior of Rebekah Brooks office inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Brooks was Chief Executive Officer of News International from 2009-2011 having previously been editor of both the Sun and News of the World. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008053. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: Deserted offices at the News of the World inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008045. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: Deserted offices at the News of the World inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008024. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: Deserted offices of News of the World executives near the newsroom inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008031. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: The famous 'Gotcha' front page on the wall of the deserted corridor near the Sun newsroom inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008007. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: The deserted interior of the Sun newsroom inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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  • 153008017. LONDON, UK - SEPTEMBER 2012: The deserted interior of the Sun sports department inside the former News International base in Wapping, East London. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch moved his British newspapers to 'Fortress Wapping' in 1986 provoking a bitter war with the print unions. 25 years later the publications relocated to nearby Thomas More Square. The Sun and the News of the World are embroiled in the long running phone hacking scandal which has resulted in many journalists facing legal action and in Murdoch closing the NOTW in 2011. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
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