Thursday, 30 July 2009

Former US President among those to have the last word in New York Times' video obits

I've always thought this was a brilliant way for newspapers to use video. Two years ago the New York Times launched 'The Last Word' - video obits recorded with well known people before they died which are broadcast on their death.
The first was columnist Art Buchwald whose video obit memorably begins "Hi, I'm Art Buchwald and I just died." You can see it here.
Since then, the newspaper has posted three other video obits on photographer Dith Pran, musician Odetta and philanthropist Stewart Mott.
Now Editor & Publisher reveals that web producers have stockpiled dozens more and have many in the process of being produced. "We have about 30 done and 10 in production," David Rummel, the Times senior producer for news and documentary tells E&P.
The newspaper has agreed to complete confidentiality for the video obit subjects until the time of death. All Rummel would say is the completed group includes one former president, a Nobel Prize winner and a playwright.
Hard as it tried the E&P could not identify the former President.

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