Covering the Titanic

Here’s a fun story from the annals. You think the media swarms you during a crisis today? Imagine what it was like during the original disaster, after the sinking of the Titanic.

The whole thing is amazing, and here’s the key graf on the plan for once the Carpathia docked:

Here were the elements of Van Anda’s plan:

  • Pay for a whole floor in a hotel near where the ship would come into port.
  • Install four telephones at the hotel connected to Times rewrite desk.
  • Send 16 reporters to the pier with only four passes. Reporters without passes would work the docks, getting as close to survivors as possible.
  • Assign the main stories to the four reporters with passes.
  • Instruct reporters to rush to the hotel for debriefing by rewrite men, and re-assignment.

It’s an extremely interesting read on a story that can give us insight into what’s considered “the ultimate in disaster news coverage.”


One thought on “Covering the Titanic

  1. Have you ever read about the Johnstown flood? The media coverage of that disaster is worth investigating, IMHO.
    I enjoy your blogging. Keep up the good work.

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