Yesterday, 95-year-old South African leader Nelson Mandela died, having struggled with health issues in the past year. TIME quickly posted Nelson Mandela Dead at 95, written by former managing editor Rick Stengel who remembered Mandela as "An Icon of Freedom.” Colleague Charlie Campbell tweeted from the story: "I never once heard him mention God or heaven ... #NelsonMandela believed in justice in this lifetime." Frances Catanio at Al Jazeera English followed suit, "With enormous self-control, he learned to hide his bitterness."
ABC also tweeted the breaking news, where Micah Grimes wrote, “The only breaking news tweet I've sent since I've been at ABC... and I'll never forget it.” Anne Trujillo at 7 News Denver said, “A special 1-hour @ABCWorldNews on Nelson Mandela right now on 7News.”
At the New York Times, Bill Keller put together the obit: Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s Liberator as Prisoner and President, Dies at 95. Jim Rutenberg there called it, “The definitive Mandela obit w/intrvu by NYT former exec ed & 1 of gr8est foreign correspondents @nytkeller.” Colleague Eleanor Randolph suggested, “Read every word. Powerful.” Michael Tackett from Bloomberg News wrote, “Mandela: Hating clouds the mind. It gets in the way of strategy. Leaders cannot afford to hate.”
The Onion commemorated the leader by writing: Nelson Mandela Becomes First Politician To Be Missed. Roben Farzad at Bloomberg Businessweek tweeted: “.@TheOnion aces #Mandela. RIP up there…” Jamie East pointed out, “Once again The Onion get it right.”
Naturally, BuzzFeed put out 15 Of Nelson Mandela's Most Inspiring Quotes, thanks to Jessica Testa there. The quote “In my country we go to prison first and then become president” seemed to have the most impact online.
While everyone was remembering Mandela fondly, Peter Beinart at Daily Beast warned Don’t Sanitize Nelson Mandela: He’s Honored Now, But Was Hated Then. Anthony De Rosa from Circa said, “One of Mandela’s lessons: ‘freedom’ is not a euphemism for whatever serves American power.” Freelancer Keegan Hamilton tweeted from the story: "Mandela’s message to America’s leaders, born from firsthand experience, was clear: Don’t pretend you are pure."
And in the aftermath of this great man’s passing, the New York Times’ Lydia Polgreen reports from Johannesburg that Mandela’s Death Leaves South Africa Without Its Moral Center. Elizabeth Drescher at Religion Dispatches added, “Such a [gift] to the world, Mandela's life was. His death is such a loss, but he surely leaves a legacy of hope.”