[Dixielandjazz] NY Times Obits

David Livingston snargi@pacbell.net
Tue, 10 Sep 2002 09:32:12 -0700

Most papers don't actively research in advance for celebrities backgrounds
unless they are local. There are just to many out there. The major
newspapers probably have the money to throw around to research these

I am a librarian/researcher for the Modesto Bee, which is part of the
McClatchy family of papers, and we'll send out bio forms for our prominent
citizens to fill out. We also will do some advance research if we know
someone is close to dying. If the celebrity is from out of the area, we will
run whatever obit story comes over the Associated Press Wire service.

In the case of Hampton, he had been ill for a long time, so of course the NY
Times would have started collecting info on him. The University of Idaho,
Moscow, had an incredible amount of information available about Hampton on a
memorial web site just hours after it was released that he had passed on.
They obviously had created the web site in advance and just waited until
they heard the news.

David Livingston, Webmaster
Knight Sounds Big Band

> -----Original Message-----
> From: dixielandjazz-admin@ml.islandnet.com
> [mailto:dixielandjazz-admin@ml.islandnet.com]On Behalf Of Stephen
> Barbone
> Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 8:45 AM
> To: Dixieland Jazz Mailing List
> Subject: [Dixielandjazz] NY Times Obits
> Rob McCallum wrote (polite snip)
> "regarding the NY Times obituary department?  Apparently they research,
> in advance, the lives of aging celebrities and keep them on file for
> future use.  When the celebrity actually passes they simply fill in the
> details regarding the circumstances and bring up the research file.
> From a practical point of view, it makes perfect sense, but is a bit on
> the creepy side."
> Yes. All major Newspapers, magazines, TV Stations, News Services etc.,,
> have obits, memorials etc., on file in advance for famous people
> considered newsworthy. That way they go to press or report an obit
> immediately, without having to do the research when the death occurs and
> miss a deadline, (no pun intended. . . well maybe). Nothing worse for
> the media than yesterday's news.
> Musical Content? You're Nobody Till Somebody Obits You." (In advance,
> that is)
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> PS. You can bet the farm that Osama's Obit is on file, Saddam's too.
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