The problem with this is that the obituary successfully wipes out everything that was interesting about this feature of the paper. I liked scanning the obituaries to see people's previous employers, anecdotes about various lives, and maybe if I knew anyone in their extended family.
The Oregonian ran one obit twice, once on Sunday in full form, and once on Monday in the new abbreviated format, so you can see the difference for yourself.
Here's the new style that ran on Monday, January 26, 2009:
Corey Ray Ellis
Oct 11,1977 - Jan 20, 2009
Born in St. Helens. He was a cook.
Survived by this father, Raymond; and his fiancee, Heather Hausen.
A celebration of life will be at 2 pm, Saturdays, Jan 32, in the Caples House in Columbia City. Arrangements by Columbia Funeral Home.
Here's the old style that ran on Sunday, January 25, 2009:
Corey Ray Ellis
A service will be at 2 pm Saturday, Jan 31, 2009, in the Caples House Museum in Columbia City for Corey Ray ellis, who died Jan, 20 of cancer at age 31.
Corey Ray Ellis was born Oct. 11, 1977, in St. Helens. He graduated from St. Helens High School and served in the Air Force for seven years, including in the Persian Gulf. He lived in Albany before moving to Portland in 2006, and was a cook for the Airport Restaurant for the past six years.
Survivors include his father, Raymond; sisters, Michelle Mancera and Heather Ronald; brother, Stephan; grandparents, Julia and Lewis Briggs Sr.; and girlfriend Heather Hansen.
Arrangements by Columbia Funeral Home.
I understand that revenue for the Oregonian is being lost to online news and advertising, and also that the economy right now is tough so they're looking to increase income wherever possible, but this feels like a low blow. Even the web versions of the obituaries seem to have been streamlined, unless you pay for a larger notice.
So, should there be a strike? Maybe everyone in Portland should stop dying until they Oregonian changes their policy?