a young college graduate working for his first newspaper,
the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Lee covered a bank robbery in
Justin, Texas, where he used witnesses’ descriptions
to put together a pencil sketch of the robber. Two weeks later,
the thief was caught. An
old TV series, Pall-Mall’s “Big Story”—dramatized
the action with actors David Hedison as the reporter, and
Arch Johnson as the bank robber. Lee was asked to play himself.
He also did a sketch of Arch Johnson to be used in the program. More on John Lee's "Big Story" here.
appeared on television frequently over the years, usually
as a journalism expert or a guest author to discuss one or
another of his books. He kept no records of TV appearances
until 1985-1992 while teaching at Memphis (see list of guest
Also in Memphis, Lee hosted a weekly PBS
program called “WeekEnd,” with three to four guests
each week and a roundtable discussion format to investigate
newsworthy issues of the week. He prepared and led 19 of these
programs during the year (see discussion topics and guests
- "The Journalistic Interview." Videotape for
high schools (panel presentation with Joyce Morrison and
Candy Justice to precede demonstration), funded by Tennessee
Press Association, 1992.
- "The Gulf War." WREG-TV, Newsmakers,
(panel presentation with Jerry Tate and Alex Coleman of
Channel 3, and Dan Henderson of the Commercial Appeal),
February 2, 1991.
- "Media and the Gulf War." WMC-TV, Channel
5 News, January 22, 1991.
- "Media and the Earthquake." WHBQ-TV, Channel
13 News, December 3, 1990.
- "Gary Hart and the Press" (with hostess Rachelle
Rowe). WHBQ-TV, Press Conference, September 12
and 13, 1987.
- "Writing the Paperback Novel" (with hostess
Marge Thrasher). WHBQ-TV, AM Memphis, January 22,
- "Holiday Inn Cable Network." Public Broadcast
System, Nightly Business Report, November 1985
- "A Conversation with Paul Duke" (with guest
Paul Duke, PBS network personality), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd,
March 29, 1985.
- "The Art of Fund-Raising" (with guests Robert
Sharpe, John Fockler, Gid Smith and Dan Copp), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, March 8, 1985.
- "The Press Under Attack" (with guests Haynes
Johnson, Tom Zynda, Larry Buser and John DeMott), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, March 1, 1985.
- "Race Relations: Part II" (with guests Ken Neill,
Kate Gooch, Margaret Dichtel and Mabra Holeyfield), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, February 22, 1985.
- "Race Relations: Part I" (with guests Larry
Conley, Larry Moore, Herman Ewing and Charles Dinkins),
WKNO-TV, WeekEnd, February 15, 1985.
- "Taxes: Part II" (with guests Brent Carper,
Lester Sewel, Jeane Palmer and John Nichols), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd,
February 8, 1985.
- "Winter Storms--1985" (with guests Brian Peters,
Johnnie Watson and Clint Buchanan), WKNO-TV,WeekEnd,
February 1, 1985.
- "Crime Prevention" (with guests David Booker,
Randy Ryker, Gloria Anderek and Mark Lindstrom), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, January 25, 1985.
- "Taxes--1984" (with guests Brent Carper, Lester
Sewel, Ted Tedesco and Neal Graham), WKNO-TV,WeekEnd,
January 18, 1985.
- "Shelby Delegation and Tennessee's 94th General Assembly"
(with guests Terry Keeter, Dan Byrd and Roscoe Dixon), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, January 11, 1985.
- "State of the Arts in Memphis" (with guests
Edwin Howard, Robert Driver, Philip Converse and Jackie
Nichols), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd, January 4, 1985.
- "Big Stories of 1984" (with guests Les Seago,
Gil Hayes and Anthony Hicks), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd,
December 28, 1984.
- "Regional Report--Mid-South in the News" (with
guests Joseph Ellis, Tony Wilson and Walter Webb), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, December 21, 1984.
- "Memphis Downtown Development" (with guests
John Dudas, Madge Clark and Pat Halloran), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd,
December 14, 1984.
- "Tennessee Amusement Tax" (with guests Alan
Salomon, Wali Shaheed, Fred Bracey and Daral May), WKNO-TV,
WeekEnd, December 7, 1984.
- "Memphis Land Use" (with guests Peggy McCollough,
Lawrence Buser, Ralph Smith, Russell Bloodworth and Sue
Nolley), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd, November 30, 1984.
- "Agriculture in the Mid-South" (with guests
Milton Jones, Dick Sneddon, Richard Powell and John Davies),
WKNO-TV, WeekEnd, November 23, 1984.
- "Tennessee Peer Review Organization" (with guests
Sandy Lutz, Richard DeSaussure, Maurice Elliott and Allen
Edmondson), WKNO-TV,WeekEnd, November 16, 1984.
- "Annexation" (with guests Rachelle Rowe, Phil
Whittenburg, Jerry Rhodes and Steve Bledsoe), WKNO-TV, WeekEnd,
November 9, 1984.