Tuesday, the Philadelphia Daily News joined the growing number of media outlets that have declared South African freedom activist-turned political prisoner-turned-president Nelson Mandela dead.

See the little black strip across the top of yesterday’s front page.


The problem, of course: Mandela is not dead yet. Technically, at least. Reports are that he’s being kept alive by a respirator. Conflicting reports — mostly from the South African government that no one really seems to trust — are that he’s doing fine and may be discharged from the hospital in time for his birthday. Sure enough, reports today are that he’s made “dramatic” progress.

Which, by the way, is tomorrow. He’ll be 95. Mandela has been hospitalized since June 18.

If you’re really interested in knowing about Mandela’s health, you’d best monitor South African media reports. I trust my friends at Media24 the most. Find Media24’s Engish-language news site here.

Thanks to Jarrod M. Graham, design editor of the Bakersfield Californian for the tip on a day I had taken off to take my family to Disneyland.

UPDATE – 2:50 p.m., PDT

That front page may have been sent to the Newseum, but it didn’t actually publish, the Daily News‘ managing editor tells us.

Pat McLoone writes:

The Daily News each night sends an e-mail to some media outlets to showcase our front and back pages. An e-mail for Tuesday, sent in error, had a copy of a front page that was not authorized to be released or printed. This unauthorized front page was not printed and did not appear on our websites. We alerted the outlets once we realized the mistake. The Daily News regrets the error.

If anyone has a photo — even a cell cam picture — of Tuesday’s front and can confirm this for me, I’d be much obliged.

UPDATE – 4:50 p.m., PDT

The folks from the Daily News are kind enough to send along the actual front page from yesterday’s paper:

[FINAL - 1]  DN/PAGES/1--DAILY/001 ... 07/16/13

So again: The one on the left did not publish but was posted yesterday to the Newseum. It has a bad Mandela headline (and, for what it’s worth, it’s missing the ad).

130716PhillyDailyNewsMandela [FINAL - 1]  DN/PAGES/1--DAILY/001 ... 07/16/13

The one on the right did run.