Above the Fold
Above the Fold is a series of photographs taken in some of the most respected and recognised newspaper newsrooms from around the globe. Made over a six-year period and working together with a cross section of some of the largest newspapers (by paid circulation), these photographs take the viewer on a journey through decades of human interaction that has helped to form the foundation of the press as we know it. Today, the work of the newspaper and journalism movement has never been so relevant for so many throughout the world. 

This timely work continues Noel Bowler’s on-going consideration of the political forces that shape our lives and the importance in sustaining the foundation of a free and trustworthy press. Ever since the rapid increase in literacy rates during the 19th century, newspapers have been inextricably associated with the development of modern society through the production of political meta-narratives, the dissemination of information and the framing of debate. With declining readership, reduced advertising and persistent questions about “truth” and relevance, the structures of print media are in a state of flux. Unlike the multifaceted and dispersed nature of online news media, the physical space of the newspaper office has been shaped by many years of evolution, adaptation and work practices that straddle both public-interest rationales and commercial objectives.

Above the Fold reinforces the importance that people have played in the role of print news media and acts as a reminder of both the importance and pertinence of the journalist. These photographs offer us an insight into the places where the decisions and policies that affect so many are created. While these places may be separated by geography, culture and politics, they are all inherently linked by one fundamental attribute: The commitment to inform, educate and reinforce the importance of a free and honest press.

Noel Bowler is a photographer and educator. Born in Ireland, he holds a MFA in Photography from University of Ulster, Belfast and a BA (Hons) degree in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport. His work has been exhibited worldwide including New York Photofestival, Dali International Festival, Yunan, China, with recent solo exhibitions in Gallery of Photography, Ireland, Impressions Gallery, England, and RPS Gallery, Tokyo. Previous bodies of work include: Union – A look at the spaces of organised labour. He was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2011 and for the Prix Pictet Photography Prize in both 2012 and 2015. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Photography at University of Suffolk. His work has continued to examine the idea of “the institution” and the effects of change and circumstance on these institutions and the ideals we take for granted. His photographs, exhibitions and publications have looked at the ongoing consideration of the political forces that shape our world, reflected through the organisation of social space. 

Noel Bowler (IE) "Above the Fold" - Helphoto 2020
Noel Bowler (IE) "Above the Fold" - Helphoto 2020