This piece originally appeared in Local Edition, our newsletter devoted to the telling stories of local journalists. Want to be part of the conversation? You can subscribe here.
A week or so ago, while driving with my daughter, I started mentally writing my own obituary. My ears were clogged. My throat was starting to hurt. And, you know, there’s a rapidly spreading pandemic.
Also, I live in Florida.
“Maybe you need to be passionate about something other than writing obituaries,” my sister told me on the drive home from the doctor, where I had my ears cleaned out in a very unpleasant process and was, happily, not sick.
I explained to her that just being a journalist — always aware of the numbers and stories and seeing growing disbelief in both — wasn’t helping either. But telling stories about lives lost, especially now, still feels important.
As part of my fellowship for the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri, I wrote about what I learned from working on local obits with the Tampa Bay Times and what we are applying to our experiment mid-pandemic.
I’ve written four obits so far. We’re really just getting started. But like the Times, which Poynter owns, so many local newsrooms are telling stories about lives lost to this pandemic.
This week, I wanted to share some of them. This list is not complete. If you see a newsroom that should be included, please let me know.
Los Angeles Times: The pandemic’s toll
Vermont Digger: Remembering Vermonters lost to the coronavirus
Orlando Sentinel: Florida coronavirus obituaries
The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune: Notable people who have died from COVID-19
NorthJersey.com/Center for Cooperative Media, New Jersey: Loved and lost
San Francisco Chronicle: Remembering the victims
Detroit Free Press: Obituaries
The Seattle Times: Lives remembered
The Colorado Sun: Remembering Coloradoans lost to coronavirus
The Arizona Republic: The Arizonans we’ve lost to COVID-19: Remembering friends, family and futures
Hearst Connecticut: Remembering Connecticut residents who died after coronavirus
The Boston Globe: Elegies for those lost to coronavirus
Houston Chronicle: Remembering lives lost
inewsource: Coronavirus deaths
The Oregonian: Oregonians lost to the coronavirus
The Philadelphia Inquirer: The people we’ve lost
Forum of Fargo/Morehead: We remember you
Kristen Hare covers the business and people of local news for Poynter.org and is the editor of Locally. You can subscribe to her weekly newsletter here. Kristen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @kristenhare.