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Scottish daily sinks myth over that Titanic headline – again

A Scottish daily has again attempted to nail a long-standing myth about how it reported the sinking of the Titanic, on the 103rd anniversary of the disaster.

The Press and Journal, which was then known as the Aberdeen Daily Journal, became renowned for how it covered the tragedy, as it was reported to have used the headline “Aberdeen man drowns at sea.”

The title previously sought to rebut the urban legend in 2012 when it made the move from broadsheet to tabloid and reprinted a page from its coverage of the disaster, which claimed more than 1,500 lives.

Now, to mark the 103rd anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking on 15 April 1912, the daily has again sought to set the record straight by publishing cuttings from the time.

Titanic 1

They show that the newspaper used the sub-heading “Aberdeen people on the Titanic” on the Thursday after the Titanic sank – the only piece of coverage which could have spawned the myth.

The paper reports: “The Press and Journal, known at the time as the Aberdeen Daily Journal, became renowned for its coverage of the tragedy.

“It has been frequently reported that the daily paper headlined its report ‘Aberdeen man drowns at sea’.  However, evidence from the clippings archive says otherwise.

“On the Wednesday after the disaster, a picture of the captain and Titanic itself was carried on the front page – with no mention of Aberdeen victims. On Thursday, the paper again lead with the Titanic under the headline ‘Mid-Atlantic calamity’.

“Further down the page there is a sub-heading which reads ‘Aberdeen people on the Titanic’ – which is the only item that picks out a north-east link to the disaster.

“So there you have it… The myth isn’t really true after all.”

The Press and Journal's front page  on Wednesday 17 April 1912 shows the Titanic and its captain, with no mention of Aberdeen victims.

The Press and Journal’s front page on Wednesday 17 April 1912 shows the Titanic and its captain, with no mention of Aberdeen victims.

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  • April 16, 2015 at 7:52 am
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    “The myth isn’t really true.” Well it wouldn’t be, would it? It’s a myth. And something, especially a myth, can’t be “not really” true. Quite a sloppy quote. Did it go in the paper like that?

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  • April 16, 2015 at 8:02 am
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    Myths are more fun, though. My local really did have “woman survives death fall”.

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