Monday, 11 January 2010

Nobody died today

Before Christmas, the newspapers start getting a little on the thin side. With last Christmas being on a Friday, the broadsheets were reducing depth from the Monday before.

On one of those days I managed to miss the obituaries altogether in The Guardian and pictured a world in which no one had the day before. A pre-Christmas amnesty, if you like.

Sadly, I had just managed to skip through the paper a touch too quickly. The obituaries were there. Six of them in total.

On further inspection, there had obviously been a lack of notable people dying. All the obituaries were drawn from the month prior. It seems a little odd that editors can take a view on the importance of someone's death. I guess it depends on whether the paper has an obituary ready.

If it does not, then either the person has died suddenly, well ahead of time and it therefore has a certain news value that warrants a swift appearance in the paper. If, on the other hand, it comes under the category of worthy but not well known then the paper will need to do some research and put it in a pile of obituaries to be inserted when other, more notable people cunningly foil death.

Even after death there is a pecking order.