Code conveying exactly opposite message behind The Times Everest scoop triumph

January 12th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by admin  


London, January 12 (ANI): The Times became the first newspaper to break the story about Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgays Everest triumph in 1953 due to an elaborate journalistic code, through which its then sub-editor Jan Morris conveyed exactly the opposite message.

The message that Morris, the only journalist to accompany the 1953 expedition, sent the message that read upon decryption: Everest Climbed Hillary Tenzing May 29.

A runner carried the message from the base camp to a police post 30 miles down the mountain at Namche, where a radio transmitter was used to transmit it to Kathmandu.

The British Embassy in Kathmandu then wired Morris message to London.

The message reached The Times on June 1, and the very next day the news of the first ascent of Everest appeared in the paper.

The 1953 expedition was partly sponsored by The Times, which obtained exclusive rights of publication in return for a fee.

Morris was a former soldier and intelligence officer who was working as a sub-editor on the foreign news desk of the newspaper at the time. Being offered the journalistic break of a lifetime filled her with excitement.

I think I was selected because everyone else was about 80 years old. I was young and fit, and really very ambitious, the newspaper quoted her as telling from her home in Wales. (ANI)

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