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Colorado paper runs obit for guy who isn't dead

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MisterCreosote, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    This guy went to work on Friday morning, and all hell broke loose when family and friends went to his house and told his wife that he had died:


    Turns out it was another family member who submitted the falsified obit.

  2. young-gun11

    young-gun11 Member

    Again, why we accept obits from funeral homes only. Why is this concept so difficult?
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    It's so easy to get a fake obit into a small paper it's not even funny... Most of the bigger papers have very strict rules about things like, you only take them from this person at this funeral home between these hours...

    At small papers anyone who knows how to make it look real could do this. And yes, it happens more often than most would care to admit.
  5. Whatever happened to just giving your enemy an upper decker?
  6. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    We (2K circ.) not only have the "obits from a funeral home only" policy, we've also had to adopt a "call and confirm that the couple in the engagement announcement are really engaged" policy because some woman submitted a fake engagement notice to one of our sister papers.
  7. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    My sister died a few weeks ago, and, due to her financial circumstances (as in, she didn't have any money and the funeral home provided its services at no cost), the funeral home said its policy was that it would not submit an obit to the local paper. It figured that if a family had money to pay for the obit, the family had money to pay for at least some of the funeral home's services.

    So I wrote the obit and emailed it to the obits desk. Nice lady there called, and the only thing she seemed to care about was getting my credit card number to pay for the obit. I can see how it would be really easy to get a fake obit in the paper here.
  8. Illino

    Illino Member

    My small paper's policy is that if someone brings in an obit for someone out of the our area, they have to give us contact information for the funeral home that is in charge of services, so the guy in charge can confirm it. Takes him all of a minute for each one, on the infrequent occasions that they come in. Not that hard.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Active Member

    "This guy here is alive."

    "Well, cross him off, then."
  10. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    The story, essentially, isn't that the paper was wrong, only premature.
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