Old-media convergence in Scandal Sheet

(The “Scandal Sheet” title sequence at YouTube has classic shots of 1950s presses rolling.)

For a bit of summer nostalgia, I’m updating a journalism education website for my 11th year as editor… and re-watching the 1952 movie Scandal Sheet to see how much of a reporter Donna Reed was… playing a Vassar-educated feature writer with higher ethical values than her editor.

Next, I’ll dig back into Samuel Fuller’s novel, The Dark Page, which was the basis for the film. Written before he headed off to fight in World War II, it was inspired in some ways by his earlier experience as a newspaper reporter – including his start at the New York Evening Graphic, which really did run Lonely Hearts Club Balls like the one in the story.

In the film, Broderick Crawford is a tough tabloid editor whose Lonely Hearts Club Ball starts out as heartless exploitation — and leads to murder. His star reporter, with with help of Ms. Reed’s character, investigates clues that lead back to the boss. More info at Turner Movie Classics.

Although “Scandal Sheet” isn’t one of his productions, Fuller went on to become a film maker himself, and “Scandal Sheet” is included in a nice boxed set of his early films. Ironically, his two main newspaper-focused films, “Park Row (1952)” and “Shock Corridor (1963)” aren’t part of the set, but they are available separately.

mild-mannered reporter who fell deeper into computers and the Web during three trips through graduate school in the 1980s and 1990s, then began teaching journalism, media studies and Web production, most recently as a faculty member at Radford University.

Posted in AEJMC, film, Journalism, Newspapers

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