|This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Obituary article.|
|WikiProject Death||(Rated C-class, Mid-importance)|
"In many cases, an obituary is one of the few times a person's name appears in a newspaper."
I cut this from the intro because IMO an obituary (as opposed to a mere death notice) is usually a biography written by the newpaper itself rather than an small ad placed by the family (i.e. a mere death notice), and so only appears for relatively well-known people who would have had their name in newspapers on at least a number of occasions. Ben Finn 12:55, 20 May 2005 (UTC).
Policy about obituaries
Q. Should Wikipedia have a policy about obituaries? Very famous people may have obituaries published by a large number of newspapers. It then becomes an arbitrary choice which one to link to in any Wikipedia article's external links section. DFH 20:43:13, 2005-08-24 (UTC)
- I think it has to be on a case-by-case basis. Some online obituaries are only available for seven days; in that case, perhaps referring to a print obituary (remembering that hard copy sources are just as acceptable as online ones) would be a better choice. I also think it would be better to refer to a longer obituary than a shorter one, and (in the case of American obituaries) a signed obituary as opposed to one from a press service such as the AP, if possible. I don't say this out of any animus towards the AP, but out of concern that the AP often picks up local obituaries, abridges and condenses them, and prints them - but that abridgment and condensation can introduce error. We had one today on AfD - Johnny Mann, a player of bit parts whose original obituary from a local paper did not imply notability per Wikipedia, but whose condensed, secondary obituary from the AP did. Sometimes you have to go to the source to ensure the obituary is accurate and to ensure the person really is notable.
- I say "in the case of American obituaries" because British obituaries and, to an extent, those from other countries (including even Canada) may not be signed. --Charlene 14:47, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
- It is important to link to a newspaper that allows searches well into the past, such as the New York Times and not to newspapers that only allow a few days or weeks before the material goes into an archive accessible only by a fee, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and many others. It would be helpful to have a list of newspapers that do allow searches well into the past, for those who want to improve Wikipedia articles with information from obituaries and other articles. --DThomsen8 (talk) 23:34, 4 April 2009 (UTC)
Separate site for obituaries?
A should a separate site for obituaries of scientists be started? Arranged under subject: Obituary: Botany Macpherson, P. and Rutherford, A. 2005. Obituary Allan McGregor Stirling - 1924 - 2004. Glasgow Naturalist 24: 65 - 66.
Thinking, what do you say?188.8.131.52 10:06, 24 November 2006 (UTC)
- I'm thinking that there are *so many* online obituary sites that already compile obituaries (alt.obituaries, the Life in Legacy Site, Rusty's EI Entertainment obituaries, etc., etc.) that Wikipedia would be doubling their efforts. Generally if the AP, UPI, Reuters, or AFP run an obituary on someone, there's a good chance that person is notable enough to already have a Wikipedia entry. If not, reviewing the obituary to see whether the person meets WP:N and then adding an article on the person with the obituary as one of the references is probably a better idea. --Charlene 14:27, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Most widely read component of newspapers
“Although little research has been done on its characteristics, its history, and its cultural variations, the obituary has been commonly noted as easily the most widely read component of modern newspapers.” -- I doubt that this is true. What about the weather forecast? --184.108.40.206 07:38, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Necrology disambiguation page
There should be a disambiguation page for "Necrology". One entry that redirects to obituary, and one entry that defines necrology as the study of decomposition of dead tissue.
The section Obituaries in the UK goes on and on about supposed "changes", but doesn't substantiate anything. Can anyone tell me in what way the content and style of the obituaries did change in that period??? – gpvos (talk) 22:18, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
- Removed it now. – gpvos (talk) 19:02, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
- The section gpvos was complaining about can be read here . Some relevant external discussion can be read in Hugo Vickers' comments  at end of the Independent's obituary on Hugh Massingberd, who was obituaries editor at the Daily Telegraph from 1986 to 1994.
- Essentially from about 1986 UK obituaries became rather more competitive, more journalistic and rather less seemingly respectful than they had been previously. (Contrast the laudatory obits for Oswald Mosley in 1980, lampooned by Not the Nine O'Clock News ). Jheald (talk) 23:56, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
This article appears to be simply compiled of personal anecdotes. The content containing thus has been commented out. The article does not require sufficient clean-up but rather an expansion, therefore the tags have been changed. What is required I suppose is that there is no History section or etymology, there is no controversy or criticism section - the article doesn't have to be long, but it shouldn't be so disconnected and incomplete. We also need an etymology section, I'm planning on adding it, but it make take some time, there's a place to start Etymology Online, Oxford Condensed dictionary ChyranandChloe (talk) 04:07, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
British Medical Journal encourages doctors to write their own obituaries...
The British Medical Journal encourages doctors to write their own obituaries for publication after their death.[clarification needed]
Required a citation. Here's one from Stephen Lock, the Obituaries Editor:
Definition of Obituary
Where I come from, the term "obituary" encompasses memorial advertisements. From Merriam-Webster: "Definition of OBITUARY: a notice of a person's death usually with a short biographical account". Can someone prove this wrong? Mcavic (talk) 07:03, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
- The distinction is significant within the publishing industry, but it's probably not important to people in everyday speech. The more precise definition will help the readers figure out the difference between the sort that is written by a journalist for free and the sort that is paid for by the estate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:43, 10 August 2012 (UTC)