Print Syndication Use of the Honorary Unsubscribe in Print

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Randy Cassingham. OK for editorial use.

A small town newspaper editor wrote to say he’s “looking for innovative ways to engage our readers,” and wanted to know if he could run the Honorary Unsubscribe “with appropriate editorial credit.”

You know, that really is innovative! Dump the boring and banal obits typical of newspapers for an actual feature that inspires readers? What a concept. What a way to provide something fresh that isn’t carried by large competitors. The Honorary Unsubscribe is one of the many offerings from Free Syndication.

Most Can Run It for Free

Absolutely true: it’s free for publications with circulation up to 25,000, with the several requirements noted below. Any printed publication worldwide may apply for a reprint license.

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A recent real-world example. Click to see larger, or here for its original page.

Access is by copying the text from the pages in this archive. It’s best to grab the text at the “last minute” so that any updates are reflected.

Interested? Send author Randy Cassingham a request below.

What Is the Honorary Unsubscribe?

The Honorary Unsubscribe is a sub-feature from the This is True online newsletter, and has been running most weeks since January 1998. (True has been running since June 1994: it’s the oldest online entertainment feature.)

It is a researched and originally written obituary of someone interesting who has died quite recently. It’s billed as featuring “the people you will wish you had known,” and they’re periodically gathered into popular book compilations.


  • Once your application is accepted, you may run current Honorary Unsubscribe write-ups: once they are two weeks old (after the Sunday publication date shown on each one), they’re not eligible to be used.
  • You can run as often as weekly, except that (Note!) there isn’t always someone who meets the requirements every week. Worse(!), there is no set length, and you may not trim to fit your news hole. Be ready for a dynamic feature!
  • You may omit any week’s column as desired, but you may not edit any column beyond fixing obvious typos.
  • You must send a copy of each issue that it’s used in (Randy Cassingham, PO Box 666, Ridgway CO 81432).
  • You must not change the title of the feature — it is “Honorary Unsubscribe” — and either include Randy Cassingham as a byline, and/or the header as illustrated below.
  • You must run the footer as follows, whichever style you use for the header: “©2020 Randy Cassingham,, reprinted with permission.” (with the year, of course, being the current year) in the type style and size normally used in your publication.
  • If a photo is included in the H.U., you may use it and should attribute it as shown; all are believed to be either public domain or released for news use (e.g., by the family). If you have any worries about rights, then source your own photo(s) through your usual channels. In any case, you agree to indemnify Randy Cassingham and publisher ThisIsTrue.Inc from any copyright claims based on your use of any material related to this feature, as well as from any defamation claims related to your publication of any of this material.
  • You may not run this feature online! The only exception to this is instances of paying subscribers (only) who can access a full facsimile of your publication online.
  • Violation of these contract terms subject you to a $100 fee per instance for public online posts of the material, and/or print use without the below contract being in place.
  • You must let us know if/when you stop using the feature.


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If you need a higher resolution header than this (1200px wide), mention that in your application below.


Yes: Let’s Get This Going!

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Again, it is highly recommended that you print (or “print to PDF”) this entire page for your records before submitting the form. Permission for use of the copyrighted material is not granted until you receive a license from the publisher, which will be sent to you at the email address you provide.