NEWS FLASH!!!!! GETTING AUTOMOBILES ACROSS THE BERING STRAIT WILL BE DIFFICULT!
There's plenty of buildup for the upcoming New York-to-Paris automobile race
. For today's editions, The New York Times reporters and editors checked in with people in Nome, Alaska, (shown above in 1906)
to find out about a certain, important leg of the trip. The first sentence of the article seems to trumpet the obvious:The one phase of the automobile race from New York to Paris that has seemed most difficult has been the crossing of Bering Strait.
The timing of the crossing is vital. To drive cross-country in Alaska and Siberia, the automobiles have to cover the territory while the ground is hardened by cold weather and, likely, covered by packed-in snow. In the spring and summer, much of the land becomes bog-like; it could swallow the vehicles.
Organizers are seriously talking about the possibility of transporting the automobiles across the strait ON ICE SLEDS. If the ice is gone, ships will be available to carry the autos.
The Times is eager to find out more about NOME and its capacities to help the racers. So, it sent a message to the NOME NUGGET newspaper. Despite that paper's name, it evidently couldn't afford to pay for too many words in the response. Today's Times quotes it in full:Nome, Alaska, Feb. 3, 1908
To The New York Times:
Possible to cross. Nome will give every assistance to autos acros strait. Gasoline plentiful.
NUGGETREPORTER ON SHIP MAKES JOURNALISM HISTORY:
Today's New York Times has additional information on the St. Cuthbert disaster, as described here on Feb . 4
. It turns out that the reporting drew lots of attention to the Times. For one thing, the details from the report were "prominently displayed in the London newspapers this morning (meaning Feb. 5). Among the journals that give credit to The New York Times for this journalistic feat are The Mail and The Standard."
Today's report in the Times notes that the information coming from a correspondent on the Cymric, which helped rescue some of the crew from the St. Cuthbert, marked "the first wireless report sent from the scene of a great calamity at sea, although the transatlantic liners have ben equipped with wireless telgraph outfits for half a dozen years."
The first dispatch, which was quite brief, was received by The Times at 10 p.m. Monday. A wireless message went back to the correspondent at the Cymric (500 miles from New York and 200 miles off Cape Sable, Nova Scotia
). That message asked for more details. The correspondent received that report at midnight and "at once began sending his narrative from the tempest-tossed ship." Everything received by 3:30 a.m. was printed in various editions of the Times.
This appears to have scooped all other New York papers, and Boston papers learned of the report from the Times' publication.
This was a big break for the Times. However, the "tempest-tossed" correspondent is NOT NAMED!
Labels: automobiles, journalism