[QODLink]
Listening Post
The art of obituary writing
A look at why the so-called graveyard shift at news organisations is not as grim as it may appear.
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2012 18:44

They call it working in the morgue. It is the newspaper obituary desk that has editors checking in whenever someone famous checks out.

In the internet age, news consumers have become so accustomed to getting their information immediately – including obituaries – that news organisations are constantly pre-writing them to meet that demand. Many extended obits are on file, ready at a moment’s notice.

And it is not as though the only obits ready to go are about elderly newsmakers. It does not matter how old you are, a good obit editor is supposed to be prepared for anything.

In this week’s feature, Listening Post’s Nicholas Muirhead takes a look at the art of obituary writing, the dos and do nots of the craft.

"I find that if you do an obit in advance it's a guarantee of eternal life, and the people who go into our morgue, as we call it, never seem to die. We've had Nelson Mandela in there for ages, we've had Castro in there.

There are many, many people alive who've got their obits on file, and quite a lot of young ones, too. There's nothing wrong with doing that. In fact, it's a good idea to do it but I think it's bad form and bad taste to announce it."

Ann Wroe, Obituaries editor, The Economist

 

 
Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post.

373

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.
join our mailing list