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CNBC To Air Documentary on Funeral Service

On Thursday, January 31, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, 8 p.m. CT, CNBC will air a one-hour documentary Death: It's a Living, which explores funeral service, a business that CNBC says "everyone confronts yet few understand."

CNBC has released a few items that give a glimpse into a small portion of the documentary:

Given that the news release and webpage are promotional in nature and meant to entice people to watch the program, it's a bit difficult to gauge what the final documentary will be like. By nature, promotional materials are always a bit provocative and glib so that they capture the public's attention.

It is NFDA's hope, however, that a highly-respected news organization like CNBC took the time and care necessary to properly research this documentary and will tell a fair and balanced story.

CNBC has been working on this documentary since July 2012. NFDA was contacted by producers for background information and expert interviews. NFDA Secretary Bob Arrington was interviewed by CNBC for this documentary. Additionally, CNBC was at the 2012 NFDA Convention in Charlotte to gain further insight into funeral service.*

Apart from NFDA, there have been many others throughout funeral service that have worked with CNBC as they researched and filmed this documentary, including other funeral service associations, funeral homes, suppliers, industry consultants and mortuary science educators.

While we will not know what the tone of the documentary will be, you should know that NFDA is prepared to respond immediately should there be inaccuracies or if funeral service is maligned in any way. We will also offer you tools to help you respond should this documentary prompt questions from your community.

NFDA will provide an update to you following the airing of Death: It's a Living.

* NFDA welcomes media coverage of its convention. It is an opportunity to share your story with the media. By opening up our doors and talking candidly about all aspects of funeral service, the profession gains credibility in the eyes of the media and the public. We show there is nothing mysterious about what you do – that there is nothing to fear or hide. Transparency, honesty and candor are invaluable tools in NFDA's PR arsenal. Opening our convention to the media is a risk, but a calculated one. NFDA and other funeral service associations that have a similar open door policy with the media at their conventions have been burned. However, the potential benefits of increased public understanding of the profession far outweigh the risk.