Article 11: Newspaper Story

At 3am in the suburban north of Toronto I walked towards a small strip mall near my house. Everything is completely still and quiet. At the strip mall every store is closed and black. But this parking lot has a secret life. Every morning out of quiet and darkness it suddenly becomes full of cars and people. I walk into the centre of the throng. From trucks filled with newspapers men are tossing bundles to the ground. Stacks of newspapers are everywhere and people are hurriedly carrying stacks to the overflowing trunks and seats of idling cars. 'Who's in charge of all this?' I asked a man dragging a skid of papers. 'Mohammed is in charge.' Mohammed has an command centre with a chair and folding table tucked into a dark alcove in front of a closed store. I wonder if the owner of the store knows that at night his doorway is another man's office. For within an hour all this will disappear and the night will be totally quiet again. On my way out I notice a car parked away from the others. There's a young boy staring through the back of the car. I see his father come back with a huge cart of newspapers. They will visit hundreds of homes tonight but no one will notice a boy working all night before school. There are stories that happen even getting the news to people's doors in the morning.

--David Stokes