As the coronavirus death toll eclipses 100,000 people in the United States, the New York Times ran a grim but extremely sobering front page.
To fully show the extent of the tragedy, but without reducing individuals to numbers, the Times filled the entire front page of the newspaper with the names of those who have died from the virus.
The headline called the tragedy “an incalculable loss”, while the subheading read: “They were not simply names on a list. They were us.”
Alain Delaquérière, a researcher at the paper, combed through a bunch of online newspapers to find obituaries where the cause of death was listed as COVID-19.
Other journalists at the paper then worked to pull out a single phrase from each obituary to show each person’s uniqueness.
this is part of a project headed by @simonelandon and directed for print by @standardregular. cover by tom bodkin. 1000 obituaries pulled from the nearly 100,000 obituaries of americans dead from the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/jNIeugcatG
“We knew we were approaching this milestone,” Simone Landon, assistant editor of the paper’s graphics desk said.
The end result, she added, was a “rich tapestry” which she never could have made on her own.
It marks the first time in living memory that the paper has had a front page without any photos or graphics. Unfortunately, one of the names had a typo which wasn’t fixed until the late edition of the paper was printed later on.
But the NYT isn’t the first newspaper in the world to run such a cover during the pandemic.
In Brazil, the newspaper O Globo ran a similar front page on May 10, when the nation surpassed 10,000 deaths.
10 de maio. 10 mil vítimas. 10 mil histórias interrompidas. A capa de O Globo deste domingo pic.twitter.com/xkmYmPWA3d
The US and Brazil lead the world for the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. The presidents of both countries have also downplayed the threat of the pandemic.
The New York Times, Coronavirus, Front page
World news – GB – The New York Times Ran A Sobering Front Page Proving COVID-19 Deaths Are More Than Just Stats