Titanic - The Fatal Voyage - NEWSFLASH!

Confusion was uppermost when newspapers reported early stories of the Titanic disaster.  Some headlines proclaimed that everyone was safe.  Other headlines were closer to the facts.  Images online, courtesy Library of Congress.


In the days before instant news, people learned about tragedies from the newspaper. Journalists, ever eager for a sensational scoop, pressed for the story. But while the survivors were still at sea, no one could be sure what had really happened.

Confusion, caused in large part by conflicting telegrams from ostensibly knowledgeable sources, ruled the day. Three examples make the point.

  • The first telegram, at 4:57 a.m. on April 15th, indicates no loss of life. (Note the name of the ship's owner "Ismay.") 
  • The next, at 5:26 a.m., says that Titanic is proceeding to Cape Race (about 400 miles from the place where she rammed the iceberg) and that all passengers were transferred, most likely to the Virginian
  • One can only imagine the horror caused by the third telegram - at 10:15 a.m. on April 15th - advising Titanic had "foundered" with only "675 souls mostly women and children saved."

Newspapers went to press without full knowledge of what happened.  Speculation ruled the day.

Thereafter, Charles Bigham (also known as Lord Mersey) conducted an official "Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry" which lasted 36 days. The final judgment of the court is telling:

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances of the casualty, finds, for the reasons appearing in the annex hereto, that the loss of the said ship was due to collision with an iceberg, brought about by the excessive speed at which the vessel was being navigated.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Mar 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: Jul 15, 2019

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"NEWSFLASH!" AwesomeStories.com. Mar 01, 2004. Dec 12, 2019.
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