The new editor of the Flint Journal has written (on the front page today, Sunday, May 10 - Happy Mother's Day, by the way) about how the paper will deal with the problem of getting obituary information to its readers on the four days it doesn't publish.
A lot of folks are concerned that if you die on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday, no one will know you are dead, or know when the funeral and visitation is until you are buried. For people without Internet, this is a large concern.
The solution the three papers have come up with is to set up a phone line for people to call in and get the information on the non-print days. I guess you have to get on the phone and listen through a list of recently deceased people (Some days there are two dozen or more) to see if you know someone who has died. It sounds like they will give you some basic funeral or visitation info, but nothing else until the printed version.
I'm thinking this is a huge opportunity for some local weekly publisher who has access to a small press to work with local funeral homes to set up a small printed daily sheet that people could get by mail for a small fee. This would be just a three- or four-page newspaper related to deaths and memorials. Could be longer if you sold advertising in it (florists, churches, non-profits, etc.) and I'll bet it could make some money as well as perform a great service.
You could sell advertising for it, charge for the obituaries (less than the papers do now), get yourself a bulk mail permit and do it six days a week. Maybe you could even put some non-death related news in it if you had room (announcements, calendar, etc.). Hey, before you know it you'll have a six-day-a-week newspaper again.
The obituary paper would be printed each evening and mailed each morning to subscribers' homes. I know a lot of unemployed writers who would love a chance to get back to writing, even if it was full-time obituary work. (I loved writing obituaries, but I'm done with that business now).
And as long as they are at this, the funeral homes and a publisher could set up a companion website and folks would have two options in one place to easily find obituary and funeral information.
Someone should at least take a look at this. I don't think people want to get on a phone each day, four days a week, and listen through a long list of names on the slight chance they might hear a name they know.
Let's do a little brainstorming here and see if we can work something up.