Titanic tale scotched by Press and Journal

ABERDEEN-based regional daily, The Press and Journal, hopes that it has finally scotched claims that its headline on the sinking of the Titanic read: ‘North-east man lost at sea’.

The DC Thomson-owned title took the opportunity of yesterday’s last broadsheet edition – before it goes fully compact, six days a week – to put the record straight.

Explained editor, Damian Bates, in a front-page news story: “It’s an apocryphal yarn that sounds funny but, alas, isn’t true.”

The P&J reprinted the relevant inside news page of Tuesday, April 18, 1912 (as was the custom, the front page was fully taken up with advertisements) which reveals the actual heading was: ‘Mid-Atlantic Disaster’, with two sub-headings: ‘Titanic sunk by iceberg’ and ‘1683 lives lost; 675 saved’.

Bates adds: “As a regional newspaper, reporters did what they continue to do today; they sought to find a local link to what was the biggest international story of its day.

“And by day two – on April 17 – the P&J discovered a passenger from Boddam had been aboard the doomed vessel as well as an engineer from Torry among the Titanic’s crew-members.”

Founded in 1747 as the Aberdeen Journal, and the world’s third-oldest English-language title, the P&J is now the UK’s top-selling regional morning daily newspaper with a circulation of around 71,000.