So it came as quite a shock to me when I read Joplin resident Brenda Schmid's Facebook post last week about how much the Globe is asking to print obituaries.
The business of cashing in on grief has angered me over the years and was the primary reason I began publishing Inside Joplin Obituaries in November 2013. Since then, the blog has published 3,944 obituaries and recently passed one million visitors.
The idea behind Inside Joplin Obituaries is that everyone has a story and it deserves to be told. It should not depend on whether or not the family has enough money.
Brenda Schmid's Facebook post is printed below:
I have written my mother's obituary, and have found the process with placing the obituary with the Joplin Globe to be quite disconcerting.
How do you sum up 88 1/2 years of living and loving of my mother's life into small bits and do it justice? If I write 100 words or less, the bill will be $155. Try summing up a person's entire life in 100 words or less. It is virtually impossible.
If I were to write up to 200 words, the cost is $205. If I were to write up to 300 words, the cost goes up to $380.
I think the amounts they charge are obscene. But, I WILL write an obituary and place it in the Joplin Globe, simply because many of her elderly friends will have no way of knowing when the services will be, if not for reading it in the Globe.
Thankfully, my friend, Randy Turner, will post it with no charge, because he knows in his heart that it is wrong to charge bereaved family members even a cent just to let people know about the death of a loved one.
What a sad commentary of a pitiful excuse of a newspaper to charge such exorbitant prices just to let people know their loved one has passed. What it this world coming to when the greed of the local rag is so exploitative? Sad, indeed.