Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Banking on death

I saw this posting on Romenesko and thought it somewhat appropriate (in a long stretch sort of way) for today, the day where many Americans think about death, spirits and the like.

A journalist wrote this blog entry about how the business profits from death shortly after his father died of a heart attack.

Read it. It's interesting. I promise.

What really struck me is that he said he'd written plenty of obits but never gave them more than 10 minutes thought. I did my first metro internship at the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, NY and they put me on the obit desk for solid month to prove that I could handle myself in news. Every day, I wrote stories about people who died. I talked to their loved ones about the things they loved, the things they hated and what their legacy would be. I treated every one of those 10 inch stories as the most important thing in the world because I knew that to someone, it was.

Now that I'm 2 years into my first job-post graduation (today is my anniversary), I kind of know what he's talking about in the colum. I still think obits are important, but it's here where I first learned about newspapers charging crazy amounts for obits. Whenever I talk to sources, they always complain about how much it costs to put a death notice in our paper -- literally hundreds of dollars.

I personally think that obits should be reasonably priced. It's probably the only time some people will get their names in the papers. I think not gouging the prices for their death notices is the least we could do after people spend a lifetime reading our product.



Posted by T Dot at 12:20 PM | link

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