May 24, 2020

A sombre tribute as the United States reaches the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths, by far the most of any country.

Source: The Guardian

As the US approaches the grim milestone of 100,000 coronavirus deaths, the New York Times has filled the entire front page of Sunday’s paper with the death notices of victims from across the country.

In a decision the paper said was intended to convey the vastness and variety of the tragedy, the front page is a simple list of names and personal details taken from obituaries around the US.

The headline is “US deaths near 100,000, an incalculable loss”, with a sub-heading that reads: “They were not simply names on a list. They were us.”

The entire list, which continues inside, numbers nearly 1,000 names – a fraction of the total loss of life in the US during the outbreak so far.

The US death toll stands at more than 97,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, by far the highest in the world, and the Times said it had been considering how to mark expected milestone of 100,000 deaths.

In an article for Times Insider, assistant graphics editor Simone Landon explained the treatment was a way of personalising the tragedy as readers and staff developed data fatigue from the constant reporting of the pandemic.

The backstory on how it came about is interesting in itself.

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