May 24, 2010 / News

Dealing with student deaths in the yearbook can be a delicate subject

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

The Kansas City Star did a probing and insightful article in their Sunday edition yesterday about the varied way yearbook staffs deal with the touchy subject of student deaths.

What exactly is the best policy for handling the yearbook coverage of students who die during the year?

As the article points out, there are many different ways the situation can be handled. Some staffs approach every student death with a “journalistic bent” and write an obituary for all students who die. Other staffs leave the decision up to family wishes. Many staffs allow for ad space to be used as tribute pages to the students.

How has your school’s yearbook dealt with student deaths?

Evan Blackwell, CJE
Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Web Content Specialist for walsworthyearbooks.com and yearbookhelp.com, as well as a regular contributor to Idea File magazine. He's been a writer and editor for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 13 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.