Death Sentence? Newspaper Obits Face Growing Competition from Web

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The Internet’s already drawn plenty of business away from newspapers.

But a new study says social networks and online memorials are now putting pressure on the institution of the newspaper obituary.

The Northwestern University study says newspapers are still the most popular way to communicate news of a death.

But study co-author Ian Monroe warns obituaries could move onto the Web as classified ads have done.

The study notes that Baby Boomers are at a stage where they take a greater interest in obituaries.

And so the study recommends that newspaper publishers avoid reducing space or staff devoted to obituaries. It also says newspapers should get in the habit of linking obituaries that appear on their own sites to social networks.

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