Best of 2018 Digital/Integrated No. 2: The New York Times Writes Obituaries of Famous Women It Previously Failed to Publish

For International Women's Day, the Times Debuts 'Overlooked' Project and New 'Truth' Ad Acknowledging Important Women of the Past

Published On
Mar 08, 2018

Editor's Pick

Through New Year’s on Creativity, we’ll be counting down the best work and ideas of the year in various categories: TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Out of Home/Design/Experiential and Digital/Integrated/Social.

At No. 2 in digital/integrated/social, back in March for International Women’s Day, the New York Times set out to right a huge wrong when it decided to finally publish the obituaries of important women in history it failed to feature when they passed. The”Overlooked” project started with obits covering the contributions of investigative reporter Ida B. Wells, poet Qiu Jin and photographer Diane Arbus and has continued with more recent pieces on Texas author Gertrude Beasley, Indian princess and British spy Noor Inayat Khan and Charley Parkhurst, the one-eyed stagecoach driver whose gender identity remained hidding throughout her adult life. The project debuted alongside a new spot in Droga5’s ongoing campaign for the Times centered on how “The Truth Is Hard.”

Original Story:

For International Women's Day, The New York Times shines a spotlight on overlooked women in an editorial project featuring obituaries of remarkable individuals the publication previously failed to write and in a new ad for "The Truth Is Hard" campaign.

The ongoing Overlooked project will publish the obituaries of notable women such as investigative reporter Ida B. Wells, poet Qiu Jin and photographer Diane Arbus, whose stories the Times had not covered at the time of their deaths.

The feature introduction explains, "Since 1851 The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones; even in the last two years, just over one in five of our subjects were female. Charlotte Bronte wrote "Jane Eyre"; Emily Warren Roebling oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubala transfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now."

The new spot from Droga5 that debuts alongside the project highlights the publication's reporting on women's issues, such as Rukmini Callimachi's reporting on ISIS' systemic sexual abuse of Yazidi women, Mona El-Naggar's documentary of the first women in Saudi Arabia to run for office and Dionne Searcey's reporting on the teenage girls who were thrown into Boko Haram suicide missions, yet survived.