COVID-19 – NYT’s Cover Page Sends A Chilling Message

The New York Times May 24th, 2020 print edition is something that you cannot ignore especially after its homepage went viral on several social media platforms.

The cover page lists a long, solemn list of people whose lives were lost to the coronavirus pandemic. The idea and concept executed by the New York Times is quite noteworthy.

In its article about the the project behind the front page, the paper said that Simone Landon, Assistant Editor of the Graphics desk, ‘wanted to represent the number in a way that conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost’.

Ravi Raman, Associate Publisher at WIRED ME and Vogue Arabia, who had previously led the New York Times Magazine in Qatar and UAE, said, ”While the human tragedy due to the pandemic is universal, reducing it to number of patients, deaths, doesn’t connect emotionally. Publishing each of the victim’s name makes it personal and NYT’s front page sends out a strong and chilling message.”

“The simple yet powerful design cuts through the clutter of horrific images we have being seeing,” he added.

The Times tweeted an image of the front page on Saturday afternoon and within hours had 61,000 retweets and more than 116,00 likes. Many journalists posted the image on their Twitter too.

As the United States crosses the grim mark of more than 100,000 deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cover page jolts us back to reality and makes us realize that the death numbers that we are seeing coming in from all around the world are not just mere statistics but people losing their lives.