Popular radio series characters of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s often visited or were visited by newspaper reporters and editors. Little Orphan Annie, decades before her Broadway debut, paid a visit to a local editor on the occasion of her birthday in 1935.
Of course a community’s outpouring of affection for the spunky orphan would be worth a story — even if her birthday present from Daddy Warbucks wasn’t a thinly veiled cue to hawk birthstone rings –as well as Ovaltine– to the kiddies back home.
The birthday party story spans four days in this collection at the Internet archive:
(The single episode player on this page is the second 15 minute segment in the storyline.)
While it’s not as adventurous a view of a journalism career as young listeners got from Superman or The Green Hornet, this group of episodes with Annie’s local weekly editor did give kids a hint of an idealized role of the newspaper in the community. In this case, the friendly editor brings together Annie and a businessman who needs her help — among other things, to keep paying his bill for newspaper ads! The editor’s conversation with Annie explains a bit about newspaper economics…
“That’s what I usually do after the paper comes out — spend the next couple of days collecting for the advertising.” — Mr. Caslon, the editor
And, of course, Annie herself was a child of the newspapers — a hit radio serial (1930-42) with millions of listeners, based on a hit newspaper comic strip (1924-2010). See more of Annie’s history at Wikipedia.
Note: This is my first attempt posting an item here using the WordPress iPad app. I will be back to edit it and add additional links.