Bob Stepno: Journalist and Media Historian

Bob Stepno has now been keeping a record of journalists from the 1930-1960s and programs that span history on his blog.

A computer

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa: Even when he was retired, Stepno never stopped working on his blog, bringing new content for his audience. 

By Taylor Moore | tmoore243@radford.edu

What started out as one man’s personal record book, turned into an archive of journalism heroes from the bygone radio drama days. 

Bob Stepno has now been keeping record of journalists from the 1930-1960s and programs that span history on his blog called “JHeroes” or “Newspaper Heroes on the Air.”

Stepno himself was a journalist at The Hartford Courant, which is known for being one of the nation’s oldest newspapers in continuous publication.

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]Stepno himself was a journalist at The Hartford Courant, which is known for being one of the nation’s oldest newspapers in continuous publication.[/epq-quote]

After that, he went on to teach his craft for 14 years until he became ‘semi-retired in 2013.

Even when he was retired, Stepno never stopped working on his blog, bringing new content for his audience. 

There is something for everyone, whether it be an article or a podcast since there are fictional journalist stories and non-fictional stories.

Stepno originally had no intention of starting his own blog for journalism.

Originally this entire website was just for him to keep track of his personal research and, as Stepno stated, “to get my act together for a book” that he planned to write in the future. This caused the audience to grow from just himself to history lovers, journalism enthusiasts, and even just entertainment lovers.

There are plenty of genres to choose from when it comes to Stepno’s stories and podcasts. 

[epq-quote align=”align-right”]There is something for everyone, whether it be an article or a podcast since there are fictional journalist stories and non-fictional stories.[/epq-quote]

Stepno has a total of 11 different genres, which include: Adventures, At the Movies, Comedy, Detectives, Drama, Editors, Ethics, Politics, Real-Life, Soaps, and World. 

There is something for everyone, no matter their interests, even if they are non-fictional.

The website consists of the original radio broadcasts and some in-depth insight from Stepno himself. Stepno helps shine a light on history that would have been forgotten otherwise. 

In his article about the Destination Freedom radio episode, he emphasizes how much of a journalism hero Ralph Bunch really was. 

While facing adversity as an African American man, he defends a Jewish victim and obtains justice no matter what.

In the end, this allows him to later win the Nobel Peace Prize, and thanks to Stepno’s thorough research, this story is not lost to time.

When asked what his personal favorites were, Stepno responded with, “I really like ‘Night Beat,’ ‘Rogers of the Gazette’ and the historical series ‘Cavalcade of America’… and ‘Soldiers of the Press’ about United Press war correspondents.”

All of Stepno’s stories can be found on his website jheroes.com, and he usually responds to any comments made on the articles. 

[epq-quote align=”align-left”]All of Stepno’s stories can be found on his website jheroes.com, and he usually responds to any comments made on the articles. [/epq-quote]

Stepno is always open to criticism and new information so he can expand his blog and meet people who may have been related to the journalists he has written about.

One important piece of advice Stepno had for upcoming journalists was to, “start a blog for yourself. Get published and used to writing, so you know that you really want to go into this field.” 

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