Community Newspaper?

By:  Diane Benjamin

Did you know to print just a basic obituary in the local paper will cost $205?  It looks like including a photo adds to that cost.

So, your loved one is gone and funerals are ridiculously expensive.  Then the paper wants to gouge you for a couple inches of space to announce the passing to friends.

Maybe obituaries are now class warfare.  Only people of means can pay the price.  Community newspapers aren’t for the benefit of the community.  They are a business that can’t be “community” anymore because people do not want the printed paper at the prices they want to charge.

Spread the word:  I will post obituaries for free.  These days all you need is a digital version that can be shared with family and friends across the country.





13 thoughts on “Community Newspaper?

  1. I have noticed that. They even raised the cost of cremations since many went that way to save final expense cost. Also fewer have visitations to cut costs. Sad. As the new editor of the Heyworth Buzz, we publish obituaries at no cost. Sometimes it is the only obituary some people will get at all.

    1. Mr Hinshaw, as a subscriber of the Buzz of Heyworth I can find more information in that weekly paper than can even begin to find in the Ragograph! You do a good service to local towns and villages.thanks!

  2. As a former employee of The Pantagraph, it wasn’t that way until Lee Enterprises bought out Pulitzer, Inc. to acquire it’s flagship pager, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee has gutted the local papers at every opportunity and that isn’t limited to the local rag. It’s easy to point fingers at the Pantagraph and the quality of the product has steadily declined. However, keep in mind that they are trying to publish the paper with only a skeleton of the staff they had less than 10 years ago. After years of trying to break the union for the press operators and other production staff they just canned them all and outsourced the printing. Lee is a terrible corporate owner.

    1. Yes and it not only applies to newspapers. Look at WMBD-TV which moved from relatively local owners to Nexstar. For some reason every time I see their female anchor I hear the sone “Dirty Laundry” in my head. WJBC cumulus radio. Both big multi station owners with 2 objects: more with less and cheaply and a corporate political agenda. In Springfield you have WICS and Sinclair. The worst thing that happened to broadcast TV/radio was when Reagan’s FCC lifted restrictions on the number of stations that could be owned by a single entity and the removal of the fairness doctrine. One of the few bad things that happened under him….most were good, but you can not win them all.

  3. Yep, father-in-law passed away a couple years ago. Since he’d lived several places, we put the obituary in 3 papers. Cost well over $600 and one of them wasn’t posted until 2 weeks after the funeral.

  4. It was over $700 for my aunt’s obit 4 years ago. Didn’t know til it showed up on the “final” bill with the funeral home.

  5. That whole industry…ugh.

    I personally wrote the obituary for my bride. She requested a cremation because she didn’t want it to be a burden. With that, there was very little for the funeral home to do (we had a simple service at our parish – they did nothing). The obituary I entrusted with them said nothing about the funeral home, but the finished obituary that was in the paper gave free advertising to the funeral home in ‘according her cremation rites’.

    I was kinda pissed.

  6. There is a loss to the family beyond the money. Newspaper obits are the first place to start when researching family trees. If a family can’t afford the obit, there is a gap in their family history.

  7. It is class warfare. Snooty, elitist newspapers are at again. If anyone has done any genealogy, they’d know that finding your financially poor ancestors in the, say, obituaries of the mid 19th century was impossible. Too expensive. In fact, my ancestors in the Cleveland area not only failed to appear in the obits, they also didn’t have any tombstones. Those were also too expensive with wooden “tombstones” the short-lived alternative.

  8. my mom pre arranged her funeral several years ago. I went with her as her POA to help with her decisions. When we got to the part about the obit I thought I was going to fall out of my chair with the cost quoted for the basic obit. We both,at the time made it quite clear that they could shove the obit up their butts. Like mom said,most of her relatives are dead and gone,and I have the phone numbers of all her relatives left. I will call the family. The guy at the funeral home was shocked at the fact we would not be putting an obit in the paper. As for the rest of the frills,mom said forget it. She wants to be cremated and her ashes scattered in the place of her choice. When the guy asked where,mom told em “none of your damn business!”

  9. If I owned the paper, I would publish for free anyone willing to state the cause of death. Morbid, but I bet the readership would jump at least 10% if not more. Obit = First page my grandparents would read every day.

Leave a Reply