Press Tracker is an experimental archive exploring British newspapers over 500 days of lockdown. 

The daily infection rate graph on this page uses live data from Public Health England, reaching back to the beginning of lockdown. For each day along the graph you can explore a selection of that day’s newspaper headlines.

Click anywhere on the infection rate graph to reveal headlines. You can also scroll up and down along the dates on the right-hand side.

Clicking on a headline will reveal its text and images, which you can drag across the screen.

You are currently on the mobile version of Press Tracker - scroll up and down along the dates on the right-hand side to view the day's headlines.

Please check back at the laptop version of the website for many more headlines

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standard standard standard
mail mail mail
express express express
i i i
express express express
sun sun sun
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
sun sun sun
guardian guardian guardian
i i i
star star star
standard standard standard
metro metro metro
times times times
FT FT FT
mail mail mail
times times times
FT FT FT
metro metro metro
express express express
express express express
i i i
star star star
sun sun sun
times times times
FT FT FT
metro metro metro
standard standard standard
express express express
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
guardian guardian guardian
telegraph telegraph telegraph
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
i i i
metro metro metro
standard standard standard
observer observer observer
guardian guardian guardian
i i i
mail mail mail
express express express
star star star
mail mail mail
star star star
express express express
sun sun sun
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
telegraph telegraph telegraph
guardian guardian guardian
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
i i i
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
metro metro metro
standard standard standard
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
express express express
i i i
express express express
star star star
sun sun sun
mirror mirror mirror
i i i
guardian guardian guardian
mail mail mail
i i i
observer observer observer
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
star star star
telegraph telegraph telegraph
mail mail mail
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
express express express
metro metro metro
i i i
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
star star star
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
express express express
mail mail mail
FT FT FT
express express express
i i i
express express express
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
metro metro metro
metro metro metro
mail mail mail
FT weekend FT weekend FT weekend
i i i
guardian guardian guardian
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
sun sun sun
express express express
daily telegraph daily telegraph daily telegraph
FT FT FT
mirror mirror mirror
i i i
sun sun sun
metro metro metro
daily express daily express daily express
mirror mirror mirror
daily telegraph daily telegraph daily telegraph
sun sun sun
star star star
mail mail mail
standard standard standard
mail mail mail
star star star
guardian guardian guardian
sun sun sun
i i i
FT FT FT
daily telegraph daily telegraph daily telegraph
standard standard standard
mirror mirror mirror
guardian guardian guardian
mail mail mail
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
i i i
express express express
mail mail mail
i i i
guardian guardian guardian
daily telegraph daily telegraph daily telegraph
metro metro metro
express express express
star star star
sun sun sun
i i i
FT FT FT
express express express
metro metro metro
star star star
sun sun sun
mirror mirror mirror
mail mail mail
telegraph telegraph telegraph
guardian guardian guardian
sun sun sun
standard standard standard
star star star
i i i
guardian guardian guardian
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
star star star
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
mirror mirror mirror
i i i
star star star
guardian guardian guardian
mail mail mail
FT FT FT
mirror mirror mirror
mail mail mail
star star star
standard standard standard
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
i i i
star star star
sun sun sun
guardian guardian guardian
FT FT FT
express express express
i i i
sun sun sun
guardian guardian guardian
mail mail mail
i i i
FT weekend FT weekend FT weekend
mirror mirror mirror
mail mail mail
guardian guardian guardian
i i i
star star star
express express express
guardian guardian guardian
sun sun sun
express express express
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
metro metro metro
standard standard standard
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
guardian guardian guardian
observer observer observer
sun sun sun
mirror mirror mirror
star star star
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
i i i
metro metro metro
i i i
express express express
sun sun sun
times times times
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
i i i
times times times
times times times
express express express
mirror mirror mirror
observer observer observer
i i i
times times times
star star star
mirror mirror mirror
guardian guardian guardian
times times times
metro metro metro
standard standard standard
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
sun sun sun
i i i
times times times
express express express
mail mail mail
guardian guardian guardian
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
times times times
i i i
mirror mirror mirror
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
star star star
times times times
times times times
guardian guardian guardian
express express express
i i i
standard standard standard
star star star
telegraph telegraph telegraph
mail mail mail
times times times
standard standard standard
star star star
sun sun sun
mirror mirror mirror
i i i
express express express
times times times
times times times
standard standard standard
times times times
metro metro metro
observer observer observer
mirror mirror mirror
express express express
mirror mirror mirror
sun sun sun
i i i
mail mail mail
star star star
standard standard standard
sun sun sun
guardian guardian guardian
metro metro metro
sun sun sun
mirror mirror mirror
telegraph telegraph telegraph
times times times
times times times
times times times
standard standard standard
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
mail mail mail
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
star star star
telegraph telegraph telegraph
times times times
times times times
Times Times Times
times times times
times times times
star star star
times times times
mail mail mail
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
mail mail mail
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
times times times
metro metro metro
mail mail mail
star star star
mail mail mail
metro metro metro
mail mail mail
mail mail mail
metro metro metro
telegraph telegraph telegraph
mirror mirror mirror
mail mail mail
mirror mirror mirror
The Mail The Mail The Mail
mirror mirror mirror
Guardian Guardian Guardian
The Times The Times The Times
Independent Independent Independent
mail mail mail
Star Star Star
Independent Independent Independent
Guardian Guardian Guardian
The Mirror The Mirror The Mirror
mirror mirror mirror
The Times The Times The Times
The Sun The Sun The Sun
The Express The Express The Express
The Star The Star The Star
Guardian Guardian Guardian
The Mirror The Mirror The Mirror
The Mail The Mail The Mail
Independent Independent Independent
Express Express Express
The Times The Times The Times
Guardian Guardian Guardian
The Sun The Sun The Sun
The Mirror The Mirror The Mirror
Independent Independent Independent
The Mail The Mail The Mail
mail mail mail
people people people
star star star
Metro Metro Metro
Express Express Express
Times Times Times
Ft Ft Ft
Guardian Guardian Guardian
Telegraph Telegraph Telegraph
Sun Sun Sun
Independent Independent Independent
Mail Mail Mail
Mirror Mirror Mirror
mirror mirror mirror
telegraph telegraph telegraph
mirror mirror mirror
telegraph telegraph telegraph
mirror mirror mirror
mail mail mail
telegraph telegraph telegraph
mirror mirror mirror
metro metro metro
express express express

Click on the red or blue dates to visit the periods further back in time.

about

Since February 2020, I've been collecting newspapers lying unsold and unread. Reams of broadsheets and tabloids have been stacked outside newsagents and train stations to be collected as waste, while public libraries have confiscated and quarantined their deliveries until they're far too old for visitors to read.

This project explores the fate of newspapers over coronavirus. Newspapers strike us with a singular, day-in-the-life kind of quality, as though their headlines and images served to frank a unique and individual moment by screaming, "this is today! Read all about it!". I'm interested in how the form of the newspaper produces this sense of indexicality; stories must first be gathered and edited, then they are cropped and cut to be arranged on its pages, then they are printed, and then distributed through the night to meet us first thing in the morning. Hence the 24 hour news cycle twelve hours for 'today' to 'happen', another twelve for the news to be produced and disseminated.

The pandemic has contracted this cycle and subsequently lent daily newspapers a curiously historic quality. Although readership has been declining for decades (see link), the virus has accelerated this tendency with lockdown’s closure of public spaces. Dozens of papers have subsequently advertised on their own front pages discounted subscriptions to keep their circulation afloat, as though they had just launched for the very first time. What entices us about a newspaper - its arrangement of words on the page, its colours, its choice of headlines and images, its quality of 'this is today!' - feels out of sync with a situation saturated with constantly changing, digital news. Exploring this tension, Presstracker is a first-of-its-kind archive, drawing together real-time data with ‘hardcopy’ news.

Each of the newspapers in the archive have been scanned, uploaded, and then digitally split along their headlines, images, article content, and sheet. These papers have been kindly gifted from public libraries around London. You can view and interact with them along Public Health England's infection rate curve on the homepage.

how to use

The infection rate curve tracks corona infection rates, supplied by Public Health England. It is updated in real-time.

Click on a date of your choice along the graph. Newspaper headlines from that day will appear. Click on a headline to reveal its corresponding front page image, click again to reveal its surrounding articles. Click again to remove these layers, one by one. Click and drag on a headline, image, or front page article to move it around the page.

You can also scroll along the dates on the right hand side of the page to reveal each day’s headlines.

‘Dwell Time’ (coming soon) is a series of oral history interviews conducted with key people in the ‘infrastructure’ of newspapers, including public librarians. Libraries - some of which have become test and trace sites - have had to quarantine newspapers in case of contamination with the virus or even halt their re-stocking altogether.

‘Search Bar’ (coming soon)
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Contact

Press Tracker is a project by Eloise Hawser

The project has been made possible by an Arts Council England Emergency Coronavirus Grant. Many of the newspapers were generously donated by London libraries.

For more information please contact: [email protected]

With special thanks: Charlie Bond, Lila Bernstein Newman, Nicola Bullock, Ed Francis, and Chris Martin. Kensington Reference Library, Peckham libraries, Southwark Libraries, Portland Place library, and The FT Archives.

The coding and digital development of this site has been done by Ed Francis and Chris Martin from belu.ga

Press Tracker uses Kirby, a German content management system, for its functioning. For more information, see twitter.com/getkirby.