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Sunday edition of Boston Globe falls short of pages for death notices

Death notices in the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe (26 April) ran up to 21 pages, that is 16 more than the previous week's edition.

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New Delhi: In the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 3 million people worldwide, the paid death notices for Sunday’s Boston Globe exceeded its stipulated limit.

The death notices in Sunday edition of the newspaper (dated 26 April) ran up to 21 pages, which was 16 pages more than the previous week’s edition.

The assistant managing editor for production at the paper, Mary Creane, who was in charge Saturday night said, “Sunday’s main news and sports sections together were 60 pages, and we set aside 20 pages for death notices. When I logged on yesterday at noon, I had a message saying we’re going to need more space.”

The final edition was eventually only one page more than the stipulated amount, but that was because the layout was modified to fit the numerous death notices. “It could’ve gone over more, quite honestly,” said Creane.

In comparison, the Sunday edition of the paper at the same time last year (dated 28 April), ran seven pages of death notices, according to an archive of the paper.


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Spike in death notices

Possible reasons for the surge in the number of death notices could be that the Sunday edition of the Boston Globe is the most well read one and because not everyone has been getting the weekday paper anymore. Creane however added, “We’ve also been setting aside more space for death notices in the daily weekday paper.”

Though some of the death notices mentioned a battle with Covid-19, there was no certainty on how many of the deceased were coronavirus victims. Though the state of New York has been referred to as the new epicentre of the pandemic, the total number of cases in Massachusetts is above 56,000 with more than 3,000 deaths.

“When we were looking at it earlier, we said, ‘Twenty pages — that’s got to be enough; there’s no way it’s going to go over that. And then to see that it went over… it’s terrifying,” said Creane.

Death notices are submitted to the Boston paper for a certain fee by families and funeral homes across Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, California, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia — as well as from Australia, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The total number of reported coronavirus cases in the US is over 10 lakh, with more than 56,000 deaths.


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