Early in August, when Bloomberg Businessweek debuted its detail-rich aerial footage cover for a "Saving of Ground Zero" themed issue, the magazine's creative director Richard Turley forecast the impending September 11th cover sweepstakes in a Tumblr note:
These are the issues that posturing editors like to make big grand statements with enormous single topic zeitgeist-capturing feature wells - photo essays, first persons, graphics, essays by eminent thinkers, artist commission photography, covers and imagery, crowd sourced content... the whole shebang. The pressure to perform and make stand-out issues is intense as magazines compete for the imaginary 'who did the best 9/11 coverage' awards.
With the 11th quickly approaching, news magazines unveiled their sweeping statements: Time with the 9/11 memorial spotlights soaring into space, The Economist with a sunset on the silhouette of the twin towers, Newsweek with an airline traversing across sparse a electric-blue cover and New York with zeroed-in focus on a cloud of debris and smoke. Below are the themed covers, each evoking a different mood marking the day.