Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Should Unemployed Journalists Hire Out as Obit Writers?

It is so suggested.

Speaking of business models, I think obituaries are just one of many areas where entrepreneurial journalists can develop healthy businesses taking a different approach to life’s storytelling opportunities. These certainly will present some ethical challenges. You won’t have the independence from news sources that most journalists cherish and protect. But you can insist on accuracy and you can encourage dealing honestly with ups and downs of life. Journalists for hire will need to develop appropriate ethical guidelines and be transparent about them. But ghost writers have been dealing with these issues for years.


Amanda Rhoades said...

I think Journalists should be allowed to write obituaries. Unfortunately the reality is that most of us won't be able to find work as journalists and you have to make ends meet somehow. I think as long as there's no conflict with other current work, i.e. writing an obituary for Ronald McDonald for a newspaper while working at McDonald's PR team, it isn't an ethical issue.

....J.Michael Robertson said...

I'm thinking as long as a publication makes clear an obit was supplied by friends or family and not written by staff, there is no problem. Certainly, a journalist writing obits when hired by friend or family is just another freelance gig. But I didn't know Ronald McDonald was even sick?