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Obiter v. Obiter

Adam Bernstein

Alex Beam, a terrific columnist for the Boston Globe, takes on the obit world in a column today.

Not sure who might care about all this but us handful of obit scribes. But for what it's worth, I know most of the people involved - I have attended both conferences discussed in Beam's story -- and believe this whole "schism" is overblown as far as the majority of the obit crowd is concerned.

Many of us obit writers see the value in both groups. Perhaps the most insightful commentary came in an e-mail from an Arizona Republic reporter, Connie Sexton, who has written obituaries for that paper.

"The wonderful thing about the New Mexico conference is that it elevates the awareness and appreciation of obituaries - from both a public and writer point of view," Sexton wrote.

"The wonderful thing about the SPOW conference, for me, is that it focused on the craft and industry of obituary writing," she added. "I thought it to be one of the best writing workshops I've ever attended because the topics were so specific. I came away with more tools on how to become a better obit writer."

By Adam Bernstein |  June 3, 2008; 12:07 PM ET  | Category:  Adam Bernstein
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