Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

How Reuters told the world about Tutanhkamun in February 1923

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It was on the November 26, 1922 that archaeologist, Howard Carter looked through a small opening chipped in a 3000 year old wall and saw the glittering chaos of the ante room of the tomb of the Boy Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

“Can you see anything?” asked Lord Carnarvon, his chief backer.

“Yes, wonderful things” replied Carter.

The world went ‘Tut’ mad. From fashion to interior design, from Hollywood movies to hairstyles, ‘Egyptian’ became the ‘must-have-theme’ of the moment.

TUT_2_FWHowever, a burning question still remained unanswered. Was the young Pharaoh still in his grave beneath the dust and heat of the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor? Was the sarcophagus intact and was he the only pharaoh in the valley whose mummy had escaped the depredations of grave robbers? For the answer to this question, the public had to wait a further couple of months until February 1923.

Reuters sent Valentine Williams, brother of Chief Editor Douglas Williams, to Egypt as its special correspondent. However, there was a snag. Lord Carnarvon had reached an agreement with The Times for exclusive rights to the story. Despite this, Williams contrived not only to obtain news of the discovery of the intact sarcophagus within minutes of its happening but also to be the first to get a ‘flash’ out to the world.

“Dilemma of Australian bushfires: Defend homes or outrun the flames”.

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 (A bushfire burns through a forest on the outskirts of Labertouche, east of Melbourne on Feb. 7 REUTERS/Mick Tsikas)

    By Mark Bendeich

    No matter how clever we become at predicting disasters, or how quickly we can respond to them, your last and best defence against an Australian bushfire could still turn out to be a good plan and plenty of courage to stick with it.

Breaking the news in Mumbai – literally

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The concept of a televised war was born in January 1991, when news networks reported live on the missiles slamming into Baghdad and millions watched from the comfort of their living rooms as tracer fire lit the sky above Iraq’s capital. A decade later,  the world watched in minute-by-minute horror as the twin towers came crashing down in New York. 

Now, with the ferocious militant attacks in Mumbai, we have arrived in “the age of celebrity terrorism“. Paul Cornish of Chatham House argues that apart from killing scores of people, what the Mumbai gunmen wanted was “an exaggerated and preferably extreme reaction on the part of governments, the media and public opinion”. 

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