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Paper Monitor

09:42 UK time, Thursday, 12 April 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic approaches, and every paper has been offering up a steady supply of features to mark the date.

Today's Daily Mirror includes a pull-out, reproducing stories published during 1912 in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, offering a fascinating insight into how it was reported at the time.

"DISASTER TO THE TITANIC: WORLD'S LARGEST LINER SINKS AFTER COLLIDING WITH AN ICEBERG DURING HER MAIDEN VOYAGE," ran the headline the morning after, atop a photograph of the vessel setting sail.

The following day, the prose grew more anguished:

The mightiest of all craft that man, aided by all the resources of centuries of human knowledge, launched forth but a week since on her maiden voyage now lies irrecoverable, in two miles of all-devouring ocean, having met a mountain of ice in her passage from land to land.

The document is a powerful testament to journalism's status as what Washington Post publisher Phil Graham termed the "first rough draft of history".

However, the trade provides more besides.

Today's Titanic offering in the Daily Mail concerns a gentleman in the Scottish Highlands who spent 12 years building a 100ft replica of the craft in his back garden.

Now, inevitably, he fears a visit from local officials as he never quite got round to submitting a request for planning permission.

The paper also prints a photo of "a dramatic cloud formation in the shape of the Titanic" which appeared "near Southampton, the port from which the famous liner departed in 1912".

Surely this tale also will be remembered a century hence?

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