Author Archives: Bob Stepno

About Bob Stepno

mild-mannered reporter who sank into computers and the Web during graduate school in the 1980s and '90s, then taught journalism, media studies and Web production, retiring to write and play more music.

Even 1950s cowboys-for-kids followed newspapers

Wild Bill Hickok, the fictional version, sold plenty of breakfast cereal (“flaked, popped, shredded, ready-sweetened, every one’s a favorite…”) to 1950s kids on television and radio at the same time, with Guy Madison and Andy Devine as Bill and his … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, editors, historical figures, reporters, television, westerns | Leave a comment

Reporters as ‘practically policemen’

https://archive.org/download/OTRR_Casey_Crime_Photographer_Singles/Casey47-02-20173TheTwentyMinuteAlibi.mp3 This “Twenty-minute Alibi” episode from “Crime Photographer,” February 1947, almost makes me wonder whether the script was originally an idea for “Your Truly, Johnny Dollar,” the hit series about an insurance investigator. I even checked Radio GoldinDex’s credit list … Continue reading

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Cagney, Dickens and ketchup save a newspaper

https://archive.org/download/ScreenGuildTheater/Sgt_48-02-09_ep374_Johnny_Come_Lately.mp3 Local newspapers have been fighting for survival since the horse-and-buggy days when this story takes place. The 1943 film Johnny Come Lately starred James Cagney as an  out-of-work “tramp reporter” who both rescues and is rescued by an elderly … Continue reading

Posted in 1900s, 1940s, adaptations, closing, editors, local news, newspaper crusades, newspapers, political corruption, reporters | Leave a comment

From fashion column to war reporting with Gusto

https://archive.org/download/Lux_Radio_Theatre_Digitally_Restored_Collection/42-06-08AriseMyLovelorettaYoung–rayMilland.mp3 The 1940 film Arise My Love was set at the start of World War II, with a woman reporter rescuing an American flier from a firing squad as the Spanish Civil War ended, just before the larger war began. … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, movies, reporters, romance, women, World War II | Leave a comment

Another John Reed

http://www.archive.org/download/Rogers_Of_The_Gazette/RogersOfTheGazette_530916_011_Illyria_Box_Lunch.mp3 The “Illyria Box Lunch” episode of “Rogers of the Gazette” is quite a package… Small-town journalism, small-town romance, mysterious thefts, a writing lecture, and a pickled peach… and all in a half hour! Newspaper editor Will Rogers Jr has … Continue reading

Posted in 1950s, editors, local news, newspapers | Leave a comment

A Daily Planet contest saves the world

Less than a year after the United States dropped the first atomic bombs on Japan, young listeners to “The Adventures of Superman” radio serial heard of another dictatorship’s threat to destroy American cities with 100 planes loaded with atom bombs. … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, adventure, Clark Kent, detectives, Lois Lane, newspaper crusades, newspaper readers, newspapers, Perry White, reporters, reporting, Superman | Leave a comment

The Case of Exploding Dolls

The opening episode of this six-part Superman story from 1940 shows reporters Kent and Lane on assignment, tracking down a fatal industrial explosion at an unlikely place — a doll factory. Hans Honin’s Doll Factory, episode one Hans Honin’s Doll … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, adventure, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, Perry White, reporters, reporting, Superman, Uncategorized | Leave a comment