Why do we have obituaries

The obituary from an editorial point of view Who will get a public obituary?

Angela Merkel, Harald Schmidt, Karel Gott and Steffi Graf have one thing in common: there is a high probability that they are on one ARD-listed list for obituary candidates. You are not the only one.

Who comes on an obituary list?

The obituary list of the ARD-News is up to date. Once or twice a year, representatives of all public service broadcasters advise which person from politics, sport, culture and society needs an obituary during their lifetime so that they can react quickly in the event of their death. For shorter films (up to 15 minutes in length) It is estimated that up to 700 prepared obituaries come together each year. On the other hand, the editors of the news broadcast will advise on longer contributions daily topics or night magazine in a smaller circle. Only for a few celebrities such as the Federal Chancellor or the Federal President would the current radio program be interrupted directly in the event of a breaking news about death or an obituary.

Reason for the high number sees ARD-News editor Kai Gniffke in "the formal explosion of media"the last 50 years that create more celebrities. Private and public television and radio stations, social networks and portals such as Youtube contribute to the fact that more and more people become known to the general public. Historical events have also increased the number now - several years later. "Take sports as an example: the Bundesliga was founded in 1963 and now the great football players, the first generation of Bundesliga players, are coming to an age when life is coming to an end. And suddenly we have more and more obituaries about famous football players in our programs."he explains.

However, age or health are just two of many factorswhy editors order an obituary in advance. "When we receive information that someone is very badly off, we take a precautionary look: do we have an obituary and is it still up to date? The list doesn't depend on how old or how frail someone is, but on whether that person is now deserved an obituary "says Kai Gniffke.

The degree of prominence could also change over time, so no binding rule of thumb can be derived from obituary lists as to when politicians, athletes, cultural workers and other public figures receive a prepared obituary. If the obituary archive of ARD news is updated annually, that is what counts above all Status quo.