As the world held its breath with hope and anxiousness, Hattiesburg News was investigating previous reports that the crew of the submersible was still alive, with national news agency reported hearing banging noises from the crew.
Then, as the world awaited the news that the crew had been found at the next upcoming press conference, scheduled 2 hours away, Hattiesburg News had learned through its own investigation that the media industry was wrong, reporting inaccurate accounts of the crew and the mission to save them.
Then, at 1:07pm on Thursday, June 22, 2023, Hattiesburg News broke its first international story with just 15 words that would forever change the history and the world as we know it. The breaking news article read, "All 5 people onboard the submersible are dead. Pieces of the submersible found near the Titanic."
Over 30 million people around the world would read the breaking news on various news sites, socials, local news stations, on tv, and breaking live news from around the world, all crediting Hattiesburg News as the source. It would be 2 hours later before any major news would confirm the reporting on their sites and social media.
Hattiesburg News' social media had over 70,000 shares alone directly from it's post, the biggest story on social media within the entire year. The news was the biggest breaking news story of the year, and by far still is to date.
For the first time in history, a minority owned news organization became the leading news organization with higher rating than any other news organization, including CNN, FOX NEWS, NBC, CBS, & the highest rated news program, ABC.
Also for the first time, a Mississippi news agency broke an international news story, leading the international news as the whole world watched and followed the breaking story by Hattiesburg News.