One of the strongest critiques of journalistic ethics to be heard on classic radio was broadcast by NBC Radio City Playhouse. The original radioplay Correction is a 1949 newsroom drama with a person hurt by a news story showing up with a gun instead of a libel lawyer. (Click The file name if an audio player does not appear below.)
In that regard, you might compare it to the opening episode of Big Town a decade earlier, itself owing a lot to the film Five Star Final.
“Correction” also features the highest-stakes bit of mass media audience survey research on record, when the editor is forced at gunpoint to call readers and interview them about what they remember of the libelous story.
The story is not all indictment of the press — the picture of the gossip-hungry public isn’t pretty either. But you have to listen carefully to hear any optimism about the news business.
For more about NBC’s Radio City Playhouse, see the painstakingly researched history at DigitalDeli Too.
For an uplifting contrast, meet some heroic newspaper folks in the radio version of Deadline U.S.A., which I previously included with this post — but decide to give a page of its own.