Low-key international coverage for Mandela hospital stay

2011-01-27 08:23

Former president Nelson Mandela’s admission to a Johannesburg hospital was receiving scant coverage by traditional international media titles this morning, with politics, weather, and a sports commentators’ scandal catching the eye of editors instead.

As journalists ran the gauntlet of security at Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital, where the 92-year-old Mandela is said to be having routine tests, Twitter saved the day for those hungry for news and commentary on his health.

One user, himaintenance quipped: “Honestly the way people are going an about Mandela, you’d swear they were promised he’s immortal. He’s ninety-freakin’-two people...”

Hlumz wrote: “will the media stop harassing Mandela’s family please!”

As mostly local reporters kept a running commentary from outside the hospital, The Mirror in the UK led with Sky commentator Richard Keyes’ resignation over comments he made on a female referee. The UK Telegraph reported that the Nelson Mandela Foundation has “scuppered” fears about his health.

Working without further information on the nature of the tests, and echoing other reporters’ comments on Twitter that hospital spokespeople were not providing further information, the Telegraph, like other publications, resorted to drawing on background on the president and the scene at the hospital, where local reporters were expected to be joined soon by international journalists making the long haul to South Africa for such events.

Meanwhile, bridgetfpringle wrote on Twitter: “The ANC has asked South Africans not to panic about Mandela... I can’t help it, I’m panicking.”

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