Nellie Bly AMERICAN JOURNALIST 1864-1922

An investigative journalist who helped change America’s civil liberties by, exposing cruel sweatshop labor, going undercover in a mental institution and for women who fought for independence.

ten days inside the madhouse

  • She arranged herself to be committed to the Blackwell’s Island asylum for ten days in order to better understand and investigate how the mentally ill were being treated
  • She introduced herself as Nellie Brown. She paid the 30-cent fee in advance, then another 30 cents for a drab dinner she could hardly choke down (Enrich).
  • Because women make up 85 to 90% of sweatshop workers, some employers force them to take birth control and routine pregnancy tests to avoid providing appropriate health benefits.
  • Inside the house, one woman sat reading her own book, ignoring her noisy young son. Another repeatedly asleep and awakened herself with her own snoring (Enrich).
  • They were ushered into unheated bathrooms.
  • They were stripped and scrubbed with cold water and dirty rag.
  • Patients at the asylum are sick and are suffering from an illness that can lead them to suffer from muscle pain and soreness due to cold showers.
Sweatshops often have poor working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor, and a lack of benefits for workers. Children didn’t have the option to continue their education because they were forced to work when they are lacking benefits that they need.
The late 19th century was most definitely a man’s world, The world was too focused more on men than women because they were more important. Women did not have the right to vote and wouldn’t for another 30 years, They had no right to own their own property and most women did not work outside the home because it was considered improper.
In conclusion, Nellie Bly, a reporter, and industrialist became a pioneer in journalism and investigative reporting and was one of the first to go “behind the scenes” to get the full stoty. Nellie Bly was one of the most important investigative journalists who helped change America’s civil liberties because she was able to go undercover exposing cruel sweatshop labor, going undercover in a mental institution to report how mentally ill people were treated and for women who fought for independence.


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