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Obscene Obituary Rates

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by daytonadan1983, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    Absolutely true. I wrote both my parents' obits, and they turned out much better than if someone from the funeral home had had a hand in it. Actually, when I gave Dad's obit to the funeral home to pass on to the local daily, the guy said he would look it over and edit it if needed and then send it on. I told him don't edit anything; this is what I do for a living. He didn't touch it.

    In the college beginning reporting classes I teach, we write obits, and I tell them this is a skill that will come in handy someday when a grandparent or parent dies. You want to be writing the obit, not some funeral home employee. After I talk about how to write a proper obit, I then share the one I wrote for Dad, which pretty much breaks a bunch of the rules I just told them.
     
    maumann likes this.
  2. daytonadan1983

    daytonadan1983 Active Member

    We have to compare notes...hit me on IM....
     
  3. daytonadan1983

    daytonadan1983 Active Member

    Now, here's the one thing about the social media experience....

    Mom actually thought it was nice how many people responded to my posts. It gave a sense of comfort because she could see it.

    And since she and dad loved watching the Miami Dolphins, she actually went WOW when Larry Little sent his regards....
     
    Baron Scicluna, maumann and Slacker like this.
  4. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    550 for an obit is really really obnoxious. What is our business doing? It'd be different if we always charged. But suddenly newspapers decided to be like pharm companies and overcharge by about 500 percent. Geez. If you charge anything it should be 10 bucks. Why anybody would subscribe to a newspaper today is beyond me. There is absolutely no reason to buy the modern fishwrap.
     
  5. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Last position I had was editorial assistant for a newspaper in Newport, RI, and we still did them. (I'm not sure if they still do - Since my layoff in February, my replacement and my replacement's replacement were laid off, because Gatehouse.) It took about five seconds to compile, since they were mailed in by the local hospital, and people absolutely read them, because I'd get calls if we had zero in for a week. The most annoying ones were from grandparents who didn't realize that their children - the actual parents of the new baby - had to consent to the publishing at the hospital, and if they didn't, well, we didn't run them. People also didn't understand why the birth submissions had to be verified or submitted by the hospital. (... because jackasses would try to get fake ones printed with their friends' names.)
     
  6. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Off-topic, but speaking of birth announcements, how much fun was it in your newsroom to the poor person who had to cover the First Baby of the Year story on New Year’s Day (or Jan. 2 or 3)?

    My first year at the small daily, my editor was all hyped up about the story, wanting a big story and photo on the front page of proud Mom and Dad with little Junior, which also coincided with some area businesses giving gifts.

    Turned out, the first baby was born to a teen mom and Dad was nowhere around.

    Small story, one-column photo on Page 2.
     
  7. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Oh god, you have no idea - We pretty much had the same situation for the 2019 baby, haha. Not exactly the same, but there was confusion from the reporter because the dad wasn't there when the baby was delivered, the mother didn't want to provide his name, and the new grandma apparently wasn't a fan either. He then apparently showed up at the hospital later after seeing the social media post about it and started getting shit from friends, although he claimed the only reason he wasn't there was because he was at work. It was a cluster and the story got updated like five or six times.
     
  8. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    That totally is a GateHouse move.
     
    2muchcoffeeman and sgreenwell like this.
  9. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    If you are older sounds like you have a good age discrimination case. They laid you off then hired a replacement? Hmmmmmm.
     
  10. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    sgreenwell addresses something I haven't seen here: So many community dailies failing the places these obits would be run may not exist. Example: We put my grandmother in long-term care in a place closer to my mother in Santa Cruz County. Grandma had lived on the SF Peninsula most of her life. When she died, they wanted to run an obit in a paper up there, but the only one they could find was the SF Chronicle (papers in San Mateo County were in their usual state of flux), which was charging a high rate. They instead ran one in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, even though she's buried in Palo Alto.
     
  11. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    This is why I like you Frederick. Sure you can be crabby sometimes, but you sometimes make passionate sense too.
     
    sgreenwell likes this.
  12. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Thanks Doc. I'm sickened by the decision makers in this business. The ones with the vacation homes of course, but also the mid level suits who have sold out their staffs in an attempt to avoid getting laid off.
     
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
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