The Last Taboo Blog

Reporters Covering the Death Beat? We Know of One.

  • By: Anne Bonaparte
  • Published: June 15, 2020, 933 days ago

Jaweed Kaleem, a reporter for the news website and aggregated blog, The Huffington Post, may be the first reporter in the nation assigned to cover the “death” beat.

When I say death beat, I’m not talking about obituaries. Most newspapers publish obituaries for people in their local communities. Some newspapers – The New York Times, for one – have turned obituary writing into an art form.

Instead, I’m talking about a beat devoted to death, dying and end-of-life planning.

Jaweed is also the national religion reporter for The Huffington Post. And on June 13th, he wrote a great piece on the emergence of tech-based organizations designed to help people cope with the death of loved ones and do end-of-life planning for themselves and their families. DeathWise, along with several other non-profit and for-profit organizations, was featured.

English: Logo of The Huffington Post

The article came about because of a special 24-hour online event, Get It Done!, that we held on April 16, 2020 in conjunction with National Healthcare Decisions Day. Our goal was to help as many people as possible complete an Advance Directive, a written statement of your wishes regarding medical treatment, in one 24-hour period.

During the hectic preparations for that event, Jaweed and I talked by phone about the importance of end-of-life planning. One of things we talked about was that for all that technology has done to change our lives, it has had very little impact – yet – on how we think about death.

Of course, DeathWise is working to change that.

In his article, Jaweed quoted me saying of the DeathWise team, “As people deeply involved in technology, we thought we might be able to get our peers to start not only thinking about innovating in life, but innovating in how we discuss the end of it. I think more and more of us out here are trying to change that conversation.”

To read the complete article, click here.

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