Sunday, February 12, 2012

Still learning: An odd secret of journalism.

Funny thing. Oh no, not funny at all, actually. But maybe a little bit like that irony life sometimes brings to us. During Friday's class – which is a mix of internship advice, journalism drills and public relations how-to-do-it – our professor told us that if or when we land our first journalism job, we are very likely to end up writing obituaries. And not only about people who actually died.

In fact, and here comes the revelation of the big secret, most obits are written when people are still alive. So I, the journalist, will have to make phone calls with the opening line "Hi, I'm writing So and So's obituary, would you care to give me a juicy quote?"

It's bizarre, isn't it? However, when you think about it, it kind of makes sense. I mean, people are probably more likely to give an accurate picture of somebody who is still alive. When people die, we tend to forget everything that was ever bad about them. Which is not, of course, a bad thing. I absolutely think we should choose to remember the good in people. But still.

And the irony of life? I guess nobody missed out that, today, we can all read Whitney Houston's obituary. Not so unexpected, perhaps, but obviously a tragedy. May she rest in peace, the woman who wants to dance with somebody. That's how I choose to remember her.

No comments:

Post a Comment