National Geographic Goes Without Photo - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON - National Geographic magazine, known for its breathtaking photography, decided this time a picture wasn't worth a thousand words — or even six.

The single-topic September issue, on the complex problems and promise of Africa, is the magazine's first cover without a photograph or illustration since 1988 — and only the second since it began using cover photos regularly in 1959.

The white cover is dominated by a bold, brown word — "Africa" — and below that, "Whatever you thought, think again."

The unusual choice was made by the magazine's new editor in chief, Chris Johns, who was a career photographer for 30 years, spending much of that time in Africa. It's the first complete issue published under his direction.

Johns said he wanted to "highlight astonishing stories of renewal, ingenuity and potential heard through unfiltered African voices. These stories counterbalance the bleak headlines of civil war, disease, poverty and extinction."

"Africa isn't one place," Johns said in an interview. "It's a million places. We felt that no single photograph could cover the depth of Africa."

The magazine last went without a cover picture in 1988 when the cover noted the celebration of National Geographic's 100th anniversary.

National Geographic Goes Without Photo - Yahoo! News


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