Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Are you willing to pay for CNN.com? Prepare to be asked before year’s end
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
June 4, 2014, 10:58 a.m.
Reporting & Production
LINK: www.capitalnewyork.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joseph Lichterman   |   June 4, 2014

The New York Times has about 1,700 prewritten obituaries for when notable figures will die, according to a piece today in Capital New York. Using the lens of Maya Angelou’s death last week, Capital’s Johana Bhuiyan looks at how the Times readies its obituaries in the digital age.

Though it was updated after her death, Angelou’s obituary was initially written in 2011. Within minutes of her death, the obituary was posted online, along with a slideshow and a video. Times obituary editor William McDonald explained how the Times now approaches obits:

Editorially, the demands of the website and its readers — wanting the complete obit ASAP — have made it even more essential that we do as many as we can in advance, so they’re fairly ready to go when the death occurs. That includes not just the text but photos, slide shows, video features and whatever other digital bells and whistles we may want to add. All of which places some additional strains on our relatively small obituary department, but we’ve done well in meeting the challenge, I think.

Show tags
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Are you willing to pay for CNN.com? Prepare to be asked before year’s end
The cable news network plans to launch a new subscription product — details TBD — by the end of 2024. Will Mark Thompson repeat his New York Times success, or is CNN too different a brand to get people spending?
Errol Morris on whether you should be afraid of generative AI in documentaries
“Our task is to get back to the real world, to the extent that it is recoverable.”
In the world’s tech capital, Gazetteer SF is staying off platforms to produce good local journalism
“Thank goodness that the mandate will never be to look what’s getting the most Twitter likes.”