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Sticky: Report: “The State of the American Obituary”

November 30th, 2009

Nov 30, 2009
7:00 a.m., CDT


To better understand the nature of our project and the role of Legacy.com in today’s obituary publishing industry, the Fall 2009 Interactive Innovation Project team at the Medill School of Journalism has been diligently researching the history and trends of American obituary writing. We have summarized our findings in a report that we have released this morning. In this report, we examine the nature of the contemporary American obituary, a phenomenon that constitutes an important content category for modern newspapers – and, increasingly, for publishers in other media.

Like many content categories, obituaries are being transformed by changes in audience behavior and media technology. Once just a concise piece of text reserved for the elite members of society, an obituary can now be created for anyone and can now include multimedia. Mourners can gather not just in a church or funeral home, but also on social networking sites and memorial pages that live on long after the lives that inspired them have ended. This report tracks these changes as they have evolved.

We would like to thank Ian, Ming and Ashley as the principal writers and researchers of the report.

Read report: “The State of the American Obituary”


About the Interactive Innovation Project team

Meet the Interactive Innovation Project team

  1. December 21st, 2009 at 18:02 | #1

    For those who need help writing an obituary for a loved one, there’s a guide with poems, quotations, and templates, at http://www.howtowriteanobituary.com.

  1. November 30th, 2009 at 11:50 | #1
  2. December 9th, 2009 at 11:57 | #2
  3. December 14th, 2009 at 16:13 | #3