This story appears in the July 2020 issue of National Geographic magazine.
We published the first issue of National Geographic in October 1888. The magazine looked quite different from today’s, with a plain brown cover and not a single photograph in its 98 pages.
Clearly, a lot has changed. But two things have remained constant: We have always covered science, and we’ve always covered the environment. “Geographic Methods in Geologic Investigation” is one headline from that first issue. “The Great Storm of March 11-14, 1888” is another.
Today we’re still covering storms, especially as they grow fiercer with climate change. And we’re still covering groundbreaking science—perhaps now more than ever, as we document the coronavirus that has swept across the Earth since the start of the year.
In this issue of National Geographic, along with our exclusive coverage of Mount Everest, there’s a special report on how COVID-19 has affected everything about our lives—our health, our work, our play, our relationships. Even the highest peak on the planet hasn’t been spared: Everest was closed to nearly all climbers in March.
The uncertainty surrounding this virus can be unnerving. What you can count on, no matter the state of the pandemic, is our commitment to covering it with factual, science-based global storytelling and authentic, on-the-ground photography. Across our platforms—print, digital, social, audio, and television—we’re working to deepen understanding of this situation, with documentary photography and inspiring, actionable journalism.
One thing COVID-19 has made abundantly clear is how small our planet is—how interlinked we all are and how much we need to work together to protect Earth and its inhabitants.
This year, as National Geographic turns 132 years old, we’re one of literally millions of brands competing for your time. But our yellow rectangle still means what it always has: that we are on a mission to explore, to explain, and to reveal the human journey, now and into the future. We can’t do that without your support.
Thank you for reading National Geographic.