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Why don’t the StarNews obituaries include the cause of death?

Robyn Tomlin

The StarNews publishes two types of obituaries. The first kind are brief death notices, which are free announcements that include only basic information. There are several reasons we don’t include the cause of death in these notices. Often these are submitted within 24 hours of the deceased person’s death, so a cause of death has often not been determined. Additionally, there are many situations where the family prefers to keep this information private, and we try to respect their wishes.

The second kind of obituary is an obituary, which is a paid advertisement placed by the family and/or funeral home. The family and funeral director choose which information they want to provide to the public in these notices. They are certainly welcome to include the cause of death, but we don’t require it.

Someone from the newsroom reviews all of the notices that come in each day, and in cases where a young person passes unexpectedly or when we notice a particularly notable name on the list, we reach out to the funeral home in an effort to gather more information. In some cases, we decide to do a news obituary, which is a story about that person’s life.

User-contributed question by:
Thomas Umphries

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