The NYT’s Ben Smith is out with a piece tonight on the reporters for his own paper, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times who’ve been assigned to update President Trump’s obituary:
Outlets assigned top reporters to update Mr. Trump’s obituary — Peter Baker at The New York Times, Marc Fisher at The Washington Post and Mark Z. Barabak at The Los Angeles Times, people at each paper told me…. https://t.co/lmMFZlMx9b
— Ben Smith (@benyt) October 5, 2020
Now, as crazy as this sounds. . .
— Morgan Jerkins (@MorganJerkins) October 5, 2020
. . .it’s pretty common for media orgs to pre-write obituaries for elderly famous people:
Just a reminder that obituaries are regularly updated to be ready to go with little editing at short notice. https://t.co/3oiI8iyYPT
— Tom Coates (@tomcoates) October 5, 2020
It’s a job for interns and such:
When I interned with MLB dot com, one of the strangest assignments we had was writing future obits for older Hall of Famers that weren’t anywhere near passing at the time.
It serves a good purpose, and there’s ample reason for media outlets to be prepared. Just so odd to do it. https://t.co/uOdWgzPGzE
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) October 5, 2020
But what’s new here is that the papers have assigned “top reporters” for this grunt work:
Among the people scrambling this weekend at American newspapers are obituary writers, as major outlets assigned top reporters to update Mr. Trump’s obituary — Peter Baker at The New York Times, Marc Fisher at The Washington Post and Mark Z. Barabak at The Los Angeles Times, people at each paper told me.
Here’s hoping we don’t read anything from these three reporters anytime soon.