Media Old and New Pay Tribute to Nelson Mandela

Time To Distribute 200,000 Copies of Commemorative Issue

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New outlets flooded readers with Nelson Mandela coverage after the former South African president died on Thursday.

Time magazine quickly assembled a special issue for Monday, devoting the cover to a previously unpublished photo of Mr. Mandela during his first trip abroad after his release from prison in 1990. It plans to distribute 200,000 copies to newsstands.

The New Yorker's cover illustration, by artist Kadir Nelson, shows a young Mr. Mandela, from his time on trial, with his first raised in the air.

The attention to the covers underscores the importance of printed magazines as readers spend more of their time online, according to Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of Time. "The cover of Time is the world's town square," she said. "Millions of people have already seen the Mandela cover, which we released last night."

Time has previously put out special issues after events including the death of Michael Jackson, the killing of Osama bin Laden and the Sept. 11 attacks. "People save these issues because they impart meaning," Ms. Gibbs said. "It's extraordinary how often I hear this: There are certain events, certain people that people don't just want to read about it, they want to keep the issue."

The issue includes articles from Bono, Morgan Freeman and former Time managing editor Rick Stengel. Mr. Stengel had a particularly close relationship with Mr. Mandela, collaborating with him on his autobiography. Mr. Mandela is also godfather to one of Mr. Stengel's children, according to Ms. Gibbs.

The New York Times, meanwhile, ran an obituary by former executive editor Bill Keller, who also covered apartheid's end as the paper's Johannesburg bureau chief from 1992 through 1995.

But coverage of Mr. Mandela's death was not reserved to media with history covering him. BuzzFeed, for example, ran a photo-centric look back at his life, plus a list of "15 Of Nelson Mandela's Most Inspiring Quotes," among other posts. Politico had published more than 20 posts on Mr. Mandela by noon on Friday. One of Quartz's posts asked readers to upload photos of themselves with Mr. Mandela.

Images of Mr. Mandela appeared on the front page of newspapers across the globe, from small-town newspapers in far-flung places to the world's top dailies. The cover of the The Sowetan, a large South African daily begun in 1981 to help promote liberation, simply said: "Goodbye Tata," a nickname given to Mr. Mandela that means father.

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