Obituaries, News Or Death Notices?

Filed under: Writing Obituaries - 19 Feb 2013  | Spread the word !

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Obituaries are not news. In cases when death occurs naturally, this is called news. But when someone dies by illness or old age, this is called obituaries, which are gathered as the “obituary page” of a newspaper. As the Internet developed a lot, now are also sites on which people can write obituaries. Some websites charge, while others are free.


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Usually, obituaries are perceived as being horrible, but it’s not only about reading about dead people. Obituaries inspire and touch hearts as they tell short stories about people’s lives.


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Once, a New York Times editor said:”There’s nothing morbid about a good obituary because a good obituary is about life, not death.” Many aslk themselves what’s the difference between a death notice and an obituary. Terms such as death notices, funeral notices and obituaries mean different things for various newspapers, so they are used interchangeably.


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But usually, death notices are short announcements that informs about basic things about a loca person’s death such as name, age and memorial service. Obituaries, on the other hand, are longer, providing more details and history related to the person who passed away. Obituaries are written by funeral homes orfamilies, but not by staff reporters. There are also formats specially conceived for writing obituaries, but they are not always followed.


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Nonetheless, when important, famosu poeple die, this is news. Actually, their obituaries turn into news stories written by reporters. For example, forms from funeral homes tell about thebasic things only, while interviews with family members, colleagues and friends give more details, are more relevant and can be crafted into a long and interesting story.

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