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Webmaster Comments: 16.10.19

October 19, 2016

A Change with Future “Taps” postings

The posting of Guardmember obituaries have been an important part of the Retiree News website. The second post on the website was an obituary – CSM Coling Jacob “Reuben” Mandaquit – on January 22, 2013.

A friend forwarded Retiree News a link to Ian Lind’s blog, iLind. His October 16, 2016 posting said in part:

The second surprise wasn’t long in coming. As we were filling out paperwork, the mortuary rep mention a change in policy by the Star-Advertiser.

The state’s largest newspaper and only daily newspaper on Oahu no longer lists surviving family members in its free obituaries. Now if you want the obit to include surviving spouse and children/grandchildren, the family has to buy a “family placed obituary.”

I don’t know what this costs, but I’m confident it’s not inexpensive.

I immediately thought of how this dramatically undermines the newspaper’s value as a source of the information found in traditional obituaries. As an investigative reporter, I’ve probably compiled backgrounds on hundreds of politicians, business people, and others that have been involved in matters I’ve dug into. Obituaries are a standard source which, for example, can help you identify an elected officials siblings and cousins, always sources of potential conflicts to keep track of. And what about future family genealogists? Their explorations just got harder as well.

Long story short: future “Taps” postings will not list family members unless the deceased member’s family bought a “Family placed obituary.”

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