Crowdsourcing obituaries in the digital age: ABC Open’s In Memory Of

  • Pamela Graham
  • Media International Australia, August 2017, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/1329878x17725916

Crowdsourcing obituaries in the digital age: ABC Open’s In Memory Of

What is it about?

How are obituaries evolving as they migrate online? This paper explores this question via an examination of the Australian Broadcasting Company’s In Memory Of project that consists of obituaries written by and about ‘ordinary Australians’. The paper finds that In Memory Of features commemorative writing that is more confessional and personal than many traditional obituaries, and, in turn, this intimacy promotes affective responses from visitors to the site. Additionally, these obituaries highlight and reconfirm the continuing, and important, social role of online memorials: their capacity to be educational or therapeutic spaces.

Why is it important?

Obituaries are a significant biographical and commemorative form that are currently in the process of migrating online. While digital memorial practices more generally are receiving increasing attention from scholars, online obituaries are not. This paper is designed to address this gap in the research.


Dr Pamela Graham
Flinders University

This article emerged from my PhD research on forms of contemporary biographical media. I hope the paper will be of use to scholars interested in life narratives (biographical and autobiographical representation), as well as those working in memory, media, and cultural studies.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Pamela Graham