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An Ode To Obituaries And Obituarists

the morgue
Green Fuse Films Inc.
‘The New York Times’ ’ morgue file cabinets in the film ‘Obit.’

On the one hand, obituaries are an amalgam of a bunch of different kinds of journalism: they’re feature stories, they’re profile pieces, they cover history, and they’re hard news too.

On the other hand, the subject is always… dead.

This hour, a look at the art of obituaries and obituarists.


  • Kate Cimini - A reporter for The Salinas Californian and CalMatters
  • Vanessa Gould - Produced and directed the documentary Obit.
  • Heather Lende - Obituarist for the Chilkat Valley News in Alaska and the author of Find the Good: Unexpected Life Lessons from a Small-Town Obituary Writer
  • Bruce Weber - Retired New York Times obituarist

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe, Cat Pastor, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired August 24, 2017.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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