nelson mandela

The death of Nelson Mandela, and the speeding cycle of news

At around 5:00 EST on Thursday, my news feed on Facebook filled up about the same topic.

Nelson Mandela had passed away.

For the next hour or so, friends shared the news of the civil rights leader’s passing; several of them posted a favorite quote or moment from Mandela’s life.

And then, a few hours later, my news feed was virtually Mandela-free.

Everybody seemed to have moved on — mostly to Carrie Underwood and NBC’s live production of The Sound of Music. Nelson Mandela may not have been the last thing on people’s minds, but, it seemed, he was no longer the first.

The next morning, Mandela was no longer the top story when I checked various news updates and home pages.

At that moment, I wondered: Does the news world — heck, the world itself — move too quickly? I was not sure, but I found it hard to believe that the death of an international legend could so swiftly lose its power and impact.

But then, something else arrived.


Stories with perspective.

Stories like the pieces I mentioned in my “3 Great Stories” column earlier this week. Stories like the long-form obituaries and personal memories that perhaps got lost in the shuffle when they were initially released.