The internet, the news industry, and the art of the obituary

With January taking its toll on the list of famous people that many people love, Dave Lee’s look at the heady mix of celebrity death and how the internet changes the reporting of notable deaths is very much relevant (even if it was posted late last year):

Most conventions in journalism have been dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era. Many an old-timer’s heart has been broken when traffic analysis shows that a three-month long investigation (3,000 words) has been completely overlooked by readers in favour of a numbered list of something far less important. The trick, of course, is to present the investigation in way that suits the new way of reading. That attitude change is happening, slowly.

Obits are next.

I’m not suggesting we reduce lives to “9 Times Nelson Mandela Totally Saved The Day” or such-like, but instead we reassess how to create, quickly, modern-day obituaries that cover death in a way that doesn’t leave readers fatigued and fed-up.

Famous People Just Keep On Dying.