Journalists & Their Work

In Search of Nellie Bly: America’s Pioneering Investigative Journalist

Excerpted from Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist by Brooke Kroeger, the most comprehensive biography to date on the pioneering investigative journalist, born Elizabeth Jane Cochran (she later spelled her name Cochrane) on May 5, 1864, in Cochran’s Mills, Pennsylvania:

Nellie Bly was one of the most rousing characters in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In the 1880s she pioneered the development of “detective” or “stunt” journalism, the acknowledged forerunner of full-scale investigative reporting.

While she was still in her early twenties, the example of her fearless success helped open the profession to coming generations of women journalists clamoring to write hard news. Read More→

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Ruth Gruber: Journalist, Documentary Photographer, Humanitarian

Ruth Gruber (September 30, 1911 – November 17, 2016) led a life that was so incredible, it could have been a movie. And in fact, just some of the many courageous episodes in her 105-year life were made into films — one in the form of a dramatized biopic, the other a documentary.

Ruth’s multi-faceted career as a journalist and documentary photographer isn’t as well known as it should be, and like other women who were ahead of their time, she deserves to be revisited and celebrated.

The daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Ruth was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was a brilliant student with a passion for Jewish culture, and always loved to write. Read More→

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Alice Allison Dunnigan, Trailblazing African American Journalist

Alice Allison Dunnigan (April 27, 1906 –May 6, 1983), better known as Alice Dunnigan, was the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials.

She was also the first black female member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives press galleries. She covered Harry Truman’s 1948 presidential campaign, another first for an African American female journalist.

A true trailblazer, Alice Dunnigan was known for her tough, forthright questions. Her gutsy approach led her from journalism into a position that spanned the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Read More→

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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 – June 5, 1893) was best known for launching the abolitionist newspaper, The Provincial Freeman, in Windsor, Ontario. She had the distinction of being the first woman publisher of any race or background in Canada, and the first Black 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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