Trailblazing Journalists

Dickey Chapelle: Photojournalist and War Correspondent

Dickey Chapelle (March 14, 1919 – November 4, 1965) was a pioneering American war correspondent and photojournalist who covered world conflicts from World War II to Vietnam.

Born Georgette Louise Meyer, she was fascinated by air travel throughout her childhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She renamed herself after the explorer Admiral Richard “Dickey” Bird.

Even as a child, Georgie Lou, as she was called, marched to her own drum. She was short and nearsighted, and always quirky and precocious. From a young age, she dreamed of flying planes. She was patriotic — always saluting the flag on her way to school. “I believed I could do anything I wanted to do, and I still believe it.” Read More→

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Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Mary Ann Shadd Cary (October 9, 1823 – 1893) was best known for launching a newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, while living in Windsor, Ontario in Canada. She has the distinction of being the first woman publisher of any race or background in Canada, and the first African-American woman publisher in all of North America.

In her role as editor and writer for the Freeman, Mary Ann advocated for the black community in Canada and beyond. She worked tirelessly to break down the dual barriers of race and gender. An active participant in the women’s suffrage movement in the U.S., she also lectured widely on education and self-reliance. Later in life, she became an attorney. Read More→

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6 Female Journalists of the World War II Era

These six female journalists of the World War II era, who reported on and documented from the field, pushed gender-defined barriers and fought for what they believed in, paving the way for women correspondents who came after them. They contributed to history with their groundbreaking work and bravery as journalists, photographers, and correspondents during the world war and in some cases beyond. At right, Ruth Baldwin Cowan’s WW II press credentials. See more about her later in this post. Read More→

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10 Pioneering African-American Women Journalists 

The 10 pioneering African-American women journalists presented here were true trailblazers. To thrive in their fields they often faced situations that were uncomfortable or risky. It took an inordinate amount of perseverance for black women to break into white male-dominated fields of correspondence, investigative reporting, broadcasting, and newspaper publishing. At right, Ida B. Wells.

Though we focus primarily on literature here on the Literary Ladies site, journalism is certainly a writing-adjacent pursuit. The power of language to document news and social issues often affects change. Each of these trailblazers from the past helped open new professional paths for women of all backgrounds to pursue. Read More→

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