Category Archives: 1940s

Abolitionist editor Jane Grey Swisshelm

The sound of a whip on a silent slave’s back opens Troublesome Jane, an original 1949 Cavalcade of America episode about editor Jane Grey Swisshelm launching an abolitionist newspaper in Minnesota before the Civil War. (“Aren’t there any hacksaws in … Continue reading

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A Cowtown Newspaper War

https://archive.org/download/OTRR_Frontier_Town_Singles/Frontier_Town_49-xx-xx_ep19_Five_Gun_Final.mp3 “Five-Gun Final,” an episode of “Frontier Town,” finds a wild west lawyer hero and his W.C. Fields sound-alike sidekick investigating a new newspaper that is trying to put the responsible competition out of business through the 19th century equivalent … Continue reading

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A brief journalism career preceded his Nobel Peace Prize

https://archive.org/download/DestinationFreedom/DF_49-02-20_ep034-Peace_Mediator.mp3 It’s not every dabbler in journalism who uncovers a murder, reports the crime despite a threat to his life, then goes on to get a doctorate from Harvard and years later win the Nobel Peace Prize, like Ralph Bunche. … Continue reading

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Black Journalists Mattered, 1944

“New World A-Coming” was a New York radio station WMCA series begun during World War II, based on a book by the same name by journalist Roi Ottley, exploring issues of patriotism and racial prejudice in the United States… including … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, civil rights, Drama, historical figures, journalism, Race, racial justice, reporters, stereotypes, true stories, World War II | Leave a comment

Newsman as canary in a coal mine?

A newspaper takes on the dangers of coal mining — and the power of the local mine owner, a banker who threatens a takeover of the newspaper, in this vintage 1940 episode of Big Town, “Deep Death.” (Click the title … Continue reading

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Maybe the stories were true

https://archive.org/download/OTRR_Lux_Radio_Theater_Singles/Lux_Radio_Theatre_45-12-10_505_Guest_Wife.mp3 “Guest Wife” was a 1945 film and corresponding Lux Radio Theater production, with foreign correspondent Don Ameche returning from India to collect something like a Pulitzer Prize. Unfortunately, as ethical as his reporting from India may have been, he … Continue reading

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Newspapers, charity and a nose for news

Wealthy owners have long been part of American newspapers, for better or for worse. This Green Hornet episode, Dead Man’s Topcoat, opens with a visitor asking newspaper publisher Britt Reid to write a check for $1,000 because a local charity … Continue reading

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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

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