Are Obituaries Ever Written in Advance? | Margalit Fox | Conversations With Tyler

Are Obituaries Ever Written in Advance? | Margalit Fox | Conversations With Tyler


Margalit: It is indeed the case that
obits for many of these major historical figures, presidents, Supreme Court justices, members
of Congress, old time silver screen stars, those are indeed written in advance. The selection criterion is does this
person have a life that it was so long in the public eye, so rich, so complex, and so
deeply documented that we wouldn’t want to get caught short writing his or her obit on
deadline? Of course, very often we do because we’re
a small department and things happen. Tyler: People die suddenly. Margalit: Things happen. Rockers OD. Planes do down. Things happen. In general, we try to have a certain level
of preparedness with the major figures. We do indeed have the advance obits, all but
the top as it were, written, edited, on file. We have about 1,700. That said, the vast majority of what
my colleagues and I down in the trenches do, probably 90 percent of our working life are
daily obits that are found out about, reported, written, edited, copyedited, put in the paper
all in the space of a single day just like any other article in the paper.

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