Thursday, December 15, 2016

Brave Women In American History


Have you ever heard of the phrase, "girl stunt reporters?" Before the early 1900's men exclusively dominated the field of journalism. In order to break through the male dominated world women had to become creative in order to have there voices heard. Female journalists could not get past the ladies' page. Women had to fake their way by using pseudonyms and going undercover in order to uncover some of society's greatest untold stories of the times. Women went undercover in places such as insane asylums and factories. They investigated childhood labor practices, scammers and cheats, illegal abortions, and other dangerous happenings. Elizabeth Cochrane's (aka Nellie Bly) famous, Ten Days in a Mad House, was one such endeavor. Winifred Sweet (aka Annie Laurie) staged a fainting to report on the ill treatment of patients in the local public hospitals. Eva Valesh (aka Eva Gay) investigated a industrial laundry shop to talk with the women about their unsafe and inhumane conditions. One famous reporter was simply known as Girl Reporter. These uncovered atrocities and scandals put these women in dangerous situations but opened up the way for huge change. As a result of their determination to be seen as "real journalists" these stunt reporters helped bring funding to treat the mentally ill as well as establish protective and labor laws. These women truly made their mark in history!


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