Dateline: Fri 27 May 2011

From the Indianapolis Star's obituaries Thursday May 26:

"Richard "Rich" Sears 43, Clayton, IN, was finely able to attain the peace he sought in his life May 23, 2011."

Condolences to the family, but at these prices, can someone hire an editor, please?

Here's the email sent to a blog reader about the high cost of dying in the Star:


"All of our obituaries  start out at $150 for the first 20 lines and $6 for each additional line. Photos are $50."


Yikes. Finely, a price guide.

A line from former Newsie Art Harris, who is a bit obit obsessed: "They read like they were written by monkeys."

Finely, the truth.


cranky [unverified] said:

Wow! That's a doosey, Ruth! And I did have death and obits on my mind. Just read the Indianapolis Monthly story on Rich Burd. I knew him and his whole family, including his mom and dad. Very sad story.

2011-05-27 14:30:34

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

I am amazed at the price paid for the occasional v.lengthy obit for local prominentes, especially when the obit goes on at mind numbing length about the chap's professional memberships, college honors, high school achievements and so forth, thoroughly discouraging most anyone from reading the tribute. They tend to have all the style of a grocery list. These things are mostly writ by the funeral parlor, and it shows. I wonder if there is a business opportunity for ex-editors and journos, contracting their writing services to the morticians, paid by the word, etc.

2011-05-27 14:59:44

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Wild rumor that needs checked: IndyStar is paying commissions to funeral homes for these ads, and the longer the ads, well.....

It's a disgusting trend The Star has adopted. Whorish, actually.

2011-05-27 17:53:45

hendy [Member] said:

Profit center. Sales rules, content drools.

2011-05-27 21:35:56

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Never thought I would live to see the day when newspapers would charge bereaved relatives for running obituaries. As TTT said, the whoredom never ceases.

Also - am I wrong, or is The Star also charging for people to announce their festivals, art shows, fairs and other events?

At the top of the page in "The Weekend Guide" it has "To Advertise in the Weekend Guide call......"

I notice there aren't nearly as many entertainment events being listed in the paper as there once were. Especially events that are outside the Indy metro area.

Wonder when The Star will start charging high schools a fee to list results of their track meets and baseball games?

2011-05-28 12:46:54

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Whitebeard: when Pat McKee left, most of the good high school sports coverage went with him. The Star's leaders evidently have no idea how many folks relied on those stories. It also built future readers.


2011-05-29 02:57:22

Rita Rose [unverified] said:

I saw that obit too and came thisclose to dashing a note off to Ryerson about the sad state of non-edited copy. Surely, even if the family is paying for it, there could be an editor who corrects spelling and style. Style is all over the map (IN, Ind., Indiana). Spelling is a joke -- did you see the recent one where the dead guy was from "Terra Haute"? Or the pilot guy whose obit was full of puns about flying and the fact that "he was always ready for life-off"?

Back in the day, we were always told that the obits must be accurate because it was "the last thing we print about someone." These days I read the obits for their (shudder) entertainment value. Then I cut out the most egregious ones and send them to my friend in Anchorage, who sends me strange stuff from her newspaper. RIP to spelling, editing and grammar.

2011-06-01 10:09:32

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