Newspaper obituaries of notable people are usually written in advance of their deaths, allowing for quick and accurate publication. The name “press corps”—the last word is pronounced like the word “core”—is often mispronounced as “press corpse.” Obituary writers have joked that they are part of the “press corpse” since at least 2007.
“Press corpse” is also a nickname (cited in print since at least 1975) of a lame press corps that is overly subservient to what a government administration declares at press conferences.
An obituary is a news article that reports the recent death of a person, typically along with an account of the person’s life and information about the upcoming funeral. In large cities and larger newspapers, obituaries are written only for people considered significant. In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death.
Two types of paid advertisements are related to obituaries. One, known as a death notice, omits most biographical details and may be a legally required public notice under some circumstances. The other type, a paid memorial advertisement, is usually written by family members or friends, perhaps with assistance from a funeral home. Both types of paid advertisements are usually run as classified advertisements.
Many news organisations have pre-written (or pre-edited video) obituaries on file for notable individuals who are still living, allowing detailed, authoritative, and lengthy obituaries to appear very quickly after their death.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
press corps n. newspaper journalists collectively; a group of reporters, esp. in a specific place or of a specified type.
1864 Dubuque (Iowa) Democrat 10 June (NPA) 2/4 We of the press corps are semi-officially cautioned not to criticize the recent newspaper seizures in New York.
1932 Amer. Polit. Sci. Rev. 26 169 The personnel of the House and Senate is disposed of and the press corps passed in review.
1974 Sunday Times 21 July 1/3 A 200-strong international Press corps confined to the hotel by the island’s [sc. Cyprus’s] 24-hour curfew.
I (heart) Mitch:
From Man to Master Blaster
By Michael Galande (story) and Argel P. Brown (illustrations)
During my training as a member of the obituary team (or “press corpse” as we say), we learned early on that in the rare occasion when we must meet with the family, we are to remain polite, respectful, and above all else, detached from whatever pained blubbering that may occur.
New York City • Media/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (0) Comments • Sunday, May 06, 2012 • Permalink