Aberdeen-based regional daily, the Press and Journal, hopes that it has finally nailed the urban myth that its headline on the sinking of the Titanic read: ‘North-east man lost at sea’.
The DC Thomson-owned P&J hopes it has put the record straight in the final broadsheet edition of the newspaper before it switched to a new, compact form six-days-a-week.
Explained editor Damian Bates in a front-page news story ...”we can reveal, at last, that the P&J never reported ‘North-east man lost at sea’ in relation to the Titanic disaster.
“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 out 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.”
The P&J has switched to compact size in response to demand from readers for a more manageable size of newspaper.
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.