IF SOMEONE CALLS in an obituary to a newspaper, hoping to get a notice about their loved one printed in the paper, what is the responsibility of the newspaper? Should the newspaper fact-check that information, or assume that no one would joke about such a story?
Turns out a guy in Brookeville, PA didn't want to get fired from his job after he took time off, supposedly mourning the death of his mother. To support his story, he contacted the local paper and asked for an obituary.
The newspaper could not confirm the details with the funeral home at deadline, so they ran the story.
The next day, relatives called to deny the story. Then, the supposedly deceased woman stopped by the office.
Did the journalists err in this situation?
(By the way, the dude who submitted the false obituary was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. And the image above is of the 80s death metal band, Obituary.)
6 months ago