ISMAY’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AMERICAN PRESS
J. Bruce Ismay was chairman and managing director of the White Star Line in 1912. After Titanic’s sinking Ismay quickly became the target of the American press and public. He was deemed a coward for surviving and many blamed him for the sinking of the Ship.
Twenty years prior to Titanic sinking Ismay was working in New York as an agent for White Star Line. During his time in New York Ismay met William Randolph Hearst, an American newspaper mogul. Ismay often refused to cooperate with the press during his time in New York and therefore made an enemy out of Hearst.
When news broke regarding Titanic’s sinking Hearst took it upon himself to create a malicious campaign against Ismay. Hearst’s press was the first to syndicate newspapers during this time giving him the power to influence the countries perception of Ismay. Hearst continued to run cruel articles and campaigns about Ismay until the American public largely accepted his side as “fact”.
Contrary to the harsh criticism Ismay received by the American press, the British press was much less critical of him. When Ismay returned to Liverpool he was greeted with cheers and applause.