SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Special Report

April 15, 2012

Titanic was turning point in global news coverage

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Yet another journalist evaded the police embargo, though his story involved luck as well as pluck. Carlos F. Hurd of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch happened to be aboard the Carpathia for a vacation with his wife when it rescued the Titanic survivors. En route back to New York, he interviewed many of them, and then, defying the crew's orders, hurled his copy, which he'd tied to a buoy, onto a tug sent alongside in the Hudson River by the paper's fiercely competitive owner, Joseph Pulitzer.

Although Titanic news would remain on many front pages for weeks, it became a different story now.

There was coverage of the return of the dead. From Halifax, Nova Scotia, AP's Frank Elser described the "rough coffins" stacked at the stern of a recovery ship.

Newspapers closely followed a U.S. Senate investigation, at which, among many others, some top editors were called to testify about how well or poorly the public had been informed. AP's Stone spoke against withholding information from the public in a major disaster, calling it a "mistake to make merchandise out of that."

When the Senate inquiry turned to whether aid might have reached the Titanic sooner, it got an explosive assist from a news story.

There were suggestions that the ship Californian, which had stopped for the night because of the ice danger, might have been close enough to make a rescue; its captain waved the notion away. But a crewmember, Ernest Gill, told The Boston American a devastating version of events: The Californian, its wireless turned off for the night, saw the Titanic's repeated distress flares, and the captain was informed but took no action before going back to sleep. In the story, Gill estimated the ships were just 10 miles apart.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Special Report

Local News
  • 140765_SN_DLE_FESSENDEN4 Special Spaces transforms two downstairs rooms into playroom for Riley Fessenden

    BEVERLY -- What happens when the perfect kid-friendly playroom appears in your house overnight? Beverly's Fessenden kids were mostly speechless when they returned from seeing "The Little Mermaid" on Saturday and got their first look at the playroom t

    July 28, 2014 10 Photos

  • Beverly Hospital courier loses patients’ lab forms

    BEVERLY -- A courier for Beverly Hospital last month lost lab request forms for 54 patients that included names, health insurance identification numbers and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. The courier misplaced the forms, which were in a zip

    July 28, 2014

  • Big plans for three parks in the Point neighborhood SALEM -- One will be overhauled, another created from scratch, and a third will get a spiffed-up community garden. It's a good time to be a park in the Point neighborhood. The densely packed area just south of the city's downtown is on the verge of i

    July 28, 2014

  • Peabody could see school choice profit next year PEABODY -- After three years, the city's schools are projected not only to break even on school choice, but actually make a $30,000 profit. School officials expect to lose just under $300,000 in state aid next year for students who opt to attend scho

    July 28, 2014

  • 140723_SN_DLE_SALVARMY2 Dennis and Susan Knight take over Salem Salvation Army operation

    SALEM -- It was Christmas Eve in Sanford, Maine, but 8-year-old Dennis Knight and his three sisters had good reason to be short on holiday spirit: Their mom and dad had warned them there would be no Christmas that year. The family couldn't afford it.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos