Magnitude of US virus disaster depicted by NY Times’ startling front page

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    The New York Times has today, Sunday 24 May, published a remarkable front page that seems destined to become one of the most talked-about front pages in the history of modern journalism.

    Gone are the usual graphics, photographs and multiple stories. Instead, as the US approaches the grim landmark of 100 000 COVID-19-related deaths, the newspaper has chosen to fill the entire front page of Sunday’s edition with the death notices of victims from across the country.

    The headline is stark and simple: ‘US deaths near 100,000, an incalculable loss’. Below the main headline is a sub-heading that reads: ‘They were not simply names on a list. They were us.’

    In all, the list contains 1 000 names. Those that are not on the front page are listed inside the Sunday edition of one of the world’s best-known and respected publications.

    In an article that explains the Times’ reasoning behind the article, assistant graphics editor Simone Landon said the newspaper wanted to represent the number of deaths in a way that conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost.

    Putting 100 000 dots or stick figures on a page “doesn’t really tell you very much about who these people were, the lives that they lived, what it means for us as a country,” Landon said. So, she came up with the idea of compiling obituaries and death notices of Covid-19 victims from newspapers large and small across the country, and culling vivid passages from them.

    Alain Delaquérière, a researcher, combed through various sources online for obituaries and death notices with COVID-19 written as the cause of death. He compiled a list of nearly a thousand names from hundreds of newspapers. A team of editors from across the newsroom, in addition to three student journalists, read them and gleaned phrases that depicted the uniqueness of each life lost, the article said.

    Marc Lacey, National Editor at the Times, had warned Tom Bodkin, its Chief Creative Officer, that the milestone was coming. “I wanted something that people would look back on in 100 years to understand the toll of what we’re living through,” Lacey said in an email.

    Currently, US deaths from the virus stand at around 97 000. The 100 000 milestone is expected to be reached this coming week.

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    Source: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/news/historic-newspaper-front-pages/

    The New York Times, Coronavirus, Front page

    World news – GB – Magnitude of US virus disaster depicted by NY Times’ startling front page

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