Blog Post

Art Buchwald Inaugurates Video Obits

As notable as the death of Art Buchwald is for many reasons, you’re reading about his passing here because of the role the humor columnist and author played in a new effort worth noting: The Last Word, a video obit. Until now, the video accompanying most news obituaries online at the Times and other sites is usually archival. But the New York Times quietly has been compiling the video equivalents of their advance news obits and, as fate would have it, Buchwald was the first subject to die. Interviewed by reporter Tim Weiner, Buchwald knew exactly what he was doing. The beautifully done video, presented in chapters, begins with his announcement: “Hi, I’m Art Buchwald and I just died.” It’s an excellent example of what newspapers can do to translate their print personalities into an online blend of words, video, audio, stills and links. (Even better, it was an idea that bubbled up from the reporter.) The next step should be to make it easier to share. (Via Romenesko.)
E&P says the paper has at least 10 more edited and ready to publish and will continue to produce 3-4 a month.