It doesn’t take a media expert to realize news coverage is largely based around novelty.
Some guy just became the 285th rich person to die on Everest? Yawn. Hundreds of poor migrants just drowned when their ship capsized? Happens all the time. A handful of billionaires believed to have died on a poorly designed submarine while visiting the Titanic? Hot damn, we haven’t had one of those before!
That was actually an incredibly ignorant take on the situation. He actually thought they had a ‘phone’ (his word) to communicate with the surface. And that all that had happened was a loss of electricity so they didn’t have lights.
I remember it mainly because of the Universal studio tour having it as an attraction, tour members would be selected for scenes and filmed, and the bits interjected and shown at the end of the tour. It was typical late Seventies fare, really.