Reporter’s manhunt in London & Tangier

Old-fashioned shoeleather reporting gets a good demonstration in the Europe Confidential episode called The Raymond Shortly Affair, which takes reporter Mike Connoy from his Paris office to London and from there to a Tangier nightclub and some intrigue involving a mysterious woman.

There’s not a lot of action, but Connoy shows that he can follow leads and conduct interviews, as he tracks down a man who has an inheritance coming.

The missing Englishman had run off to join the service during World War II. He also changed his name. Meanwhile, his parents home and their whole street were destroyed in the bombing. In the years since the war, the street has been rebuilt and resettled, losing a lot of local memory, so Connoy has his work cut out for him.

It’s not quite “Call Northside 777” in terms of “journalism procedural,” and it’s hard to imagine one of today’s news organizations having an international-travel budget for this kind of “human interest” feature story. As radio dramas go, except for a hint of “film noir” in a twist at the end, there’s not a lot of suspense and no threats of death or violence. But it’s still worth a listen.

As with many “Europe Confidential” episodes I’ve been writing about, this one may have been a rewrite of a previously used script from another “Towers of London” production company radio program, although I don’t recognize it in any of the usual-suspect “The Lives of Harry Lime” files. (If this were a Harry Lime plot, I’d expect to find someone trying to steal the inheritance, not just find its intended recipient!)

About Bob Stepno

mild-mannered reporter who found computers & the Web in grad school in the 1980s (Wesleyan) and '90s (UNC); taught journalism, media studies, Web production; retired to write, make music, photograph sunsets & walks in the woods.
This entry was posted in 1950s, Europe, foreign correspondents, journalism, reporting. Bookmark the permalink.

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