Newspapers cover deaths in three ways:
- Death announcement — usually a sentence or two announcing the death and that details will follow. This is found in the obituary section and is part of the funeral home’s contract with the family.
- Obituary — part of the funeral package a family buys from the funeral home. Typically the family fills out a form with information about the deceased and that information is published with little change in the paper. Newspapers charge the funeral homes for obits and the funeral homes pass the cost on to the family. Newspapers consider obituaries to be “inside sales,” as classified ads are.
- Life story — this is a news story written in AP style when someone prominent dies — could be an international celebrity or the local town’s librarian. Life stories are researched & reported just as any news story is.
Your assignment is to write a life story about one of the most important people around Use your imagination & get creative.
Obituaries & life stories are different animals but do share the same basic facts:
- Name & age of deceased. Where lived when died.
- Cause of death. Location when died.
- Date & place of birth.
- Accomplishments, achievements, etc. In a life story — what made this person so memorable & important?
- Dates, times & locations of services, visitations, etc.
- Any special requests for donations as memorials.
you can write about somebody else. But it cannot be a real person who already has passed. You can make up somebody or kill off somebody else. Your story must have a headline, byline & end mark and be in AP style.