“Unknown peasant women” killed in racing accident (1903)

Tonight while reading a copy of the New York Tribune from 1903 I came across a story titled, well, I'm not real sure which title is the correct title since this story has what appears to be 5 various levels of titles. Here I thought the SEO ninjas of today's online world were title-crazy.

Aside from the awesome fact that this was a 110 year old Cannonball Run and that the New York Tribune was writing about it was just how detailed and blunt the account of the injuries and deaths were from that race.


Most of the written accounts included either the occupation, i.e. Machinist - Broken head or the activity, i.e. Bicyclist - broken knee bone. Again - very informative, very blunt.

That is, unless you're the "unknown peasant woman."

"Nixon was thrown underneath the car which caught fire and then exploded. The guard tried to rescue Nixon, but found his body burned to a cinder."

In 1903 there seemed to be very little compassion and editorializing and just hard facts. No filter, no opinion just the news.


At times it's refreshing to read this style of news but does a lack of opinion or compassion make it seem a bit heartless? A better question might be should reporters fill tragic stories with heartfelt sympathies for loved ones, families and friends? Or should they just report the facts, find more facts and report those facts?

Do we really need sentiment from reporters?

While sentiment is absent in this story, as a reader I don't feel cheated reading it. I was provided and consumed a great deal of facts and information.


But because the news I read today, news filled with political correctness, editorial punditry and dramatic compassion; what might have been standard news reporting 110 years ago now comes off as unsympathetic and rude.

What say you?

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