It’s no secret that almost every majour publication (especially newspapers) have something very special tucked away, and ready to be printed, for the day when Nelson Mandela (Madiba) passes away. Newspaper are ‘lucky’ in the sense that if he passes away at 22:00 in the evening, that it will be front page news the next day, and they will also have dozens of pages filled with pictures and articles about the person he was. All articles were of course written months (if not sometimes years) before, and all the pages would have already been designed months ago…
Magazines are a bit more difficult, because of the long deadlines. Weekly magazines (like Huisgenoot, You, heat, People and Kuier ect) have shorter deadlines and go to print about 4/5 working days before it actually goes on shelf. Monthly magazines (like Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health and SARIE ect) go to print almost 2 weeks before it actually appears on-shelf. So it makes it extremely difficult for a weekly magazine to be relevant and have the latest information.
For example: Yesterday everyone was at the edge of their seats when the news came that the Mandela-family was asked to go to the hospital immediately. Almost everyone thought “now is that unfortunate time”. If it were to happen that Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday (Thursday), it would have been too late for his passing to be featured in and on the covers of Huisgenoot, You, Kuier, People and heat (ect) that are all on sale from today (Friday, 1 day later). The reason being because they all went to print earlier in the week already. So if he did pass away, then he would only be on their covers NEXT week Friday. 8 days after his passing.
So that is why some magazines and news agencies sometimes find a different way when things are really looking bad. Because they can’t say that ‘he passed away’ at the time they went to print (because they can’t predict the future), they print a special cover and special articles when things ‘really look bad’, but they word it in such a way that if he’s still alive at the time it goes public, then they’re safe. And if the person passed, then they it can also be read in a way to commemorate him/her. And it will then of course boost the sales massively!Please note, I’m not saying that Kuier magazine did it to try and be ‘first’ if it were to happen that Madiba passed away yesterday, but I’m also not saying that they didn’t.
What I am saying is that it’s a risky move as it can go either way (as we found it when he was in the hospital the previous time), but it’s how they write it, and how they celebrate his life (that he is still having today, as he is still alive..).
So I think Kuier did an amazing job with the cover, and with their articles and pictures.
I just wanted to use this as an example. And to teach my readers a bit who might not be in the industry…
And by reading these comments on their Facebook page, it seems like their readers are also loving the cover, and also think that it will sell very well.
Here are some more “just incase” Nelson Mandela covers and articles;