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Nellie Bly Contribution To Journalism Essay

There are many people that contributed to history and changed our world today. These contributions in history include those from journalists. One of many journalists is Nellie Bly, who shaped the journalism industry as we know it. Journalists contribute to history by their written news articles that display to others what life was like otherwise known as journalism. Nellie Bly exposed introduced new forms of journalism through motivation, preparation, and accomplishments. Motivation Nellie Bly expanded journalism through her beliefs, values, and philosophy.

One of the ways she was able to expand journalism was with her philosophy. The Christian Science Monitor agrees when they write, “An expose that involved Bly posing as a mental patient for 10 days in order to detail beatings, ice-cold baths, and other abuses at the mental institution on Blackwell’s Island” (Mendoza, 2015). In making this comment, they are arguing that her philosophy included putting herself in others’ positions to understand what they are going through. By having this philosophy, Bly is able to put herself in extreme conditions and try and fix the problem.

Secondly, Nellie would immerse herself into someone else’s reality. The Encyclopedia of World Biography writes, “Her stories were not only reform-minded, but filled with first-hand accounts” (“Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman,” 1998). The Encyclopedia is insisting that she would come back and write from experience. It was impactful because the problem was brought to light and was able to soon be fixed. Nellie wanted to continue to pursue her passion in reporting and journalism through the world of traveling.

The Encyclopedia of World Biography states, “Bly’s most notorious stunt, however, as her trek across the globe in the spirit of the 1873 book Around the World in Eighty Days by French author Jules Verne” (“Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman,” 1998). What the encyclopedia is saying, is that one of her motivations was to do this task in a shorter amount of time. She was able to soon become famous because of the motivation behind her wanting to travel and write about the world. Also, around this time Bly wanted to try doing things on her own.

The Contemporary Authors Online explains that, “Bly left the staff of the Dispatch in November of 1885 to pursue a freelance career” (Miller, 2001). In other words, her traveling the world was the perfect time to start journalism on her own. She was able to write about what she thought was fitting to the world and what pleased her the most. Preparation Nellie Bly was able to expand journalism through her preparation. Bly was prepared for her famous endeavors into the journalism world by her education.

Nellie’s education is unique because she was exposed to journalism through her father. According to Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, “Nellie was educated by her father when she was young” (“Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman,” 1998). She was able to learn and succeed with his teachings because she went on to becoming a renowned writer. In addition to her early education, Nellie was also able to take on the real world because of previous jobs she had before. For instance, when Bly was young she took on “low class jobs to help support her family” (“Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman,” 1998).

This prepared her to go into the large journalism workforce after knowing what work feels like. Since she had a lower class job she was able to take writing more seriously and gave her more motivation to provide for her and er family. Later on in life, Nellie Bly was getting more opportunities to travel and write about different topics which came from the different jobs she went through. With this in mind, “Bly took on a job for the New York World newspaper and wrote on serious topics that she could show to the public to fix some of the conditions in workplaces” (Miller, 2001).

Through the experience of working with the newspaper, Nellie was able to build the following of her articles and writings while gaining knowledge by working with other journalists that made her better. Nellie was ble to sacrifice her time and sometimes her life with the stories she produced while working with the New York World. For example, Bly risked her life by taking on a different reporting job for another company. “Nellie started working for the Pittsburgh Dispatch and recorded the conditions of the slums and working girls in factories” (Miller, 2001).

By exposing these companies and areas, she was able to bring awareness of these problems to the public eye. This exposure put these horrible conditions to a halt. Nellie Bly risked her life all for showing making sure lives would be saved. Accomplishments Nellie Bly paved way for her historical recognition through her accomplishments. Because of her writings, Bly helped form the world of journalism. Contemporary Authors Online states, ” Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, writing under the pen name Nellie Bly, set the standard for investigative reporting in the era of “yellow journalism” (Miller, 2001).

In other words, NELLIE BLY 5 Contemporary Authors Online is saying that Nellie Bly surpassed standards for journalism back in that era. She was able to report the conditions of workers, slaves, and slums after exposing erself to them first hand which no one had ever thought of before. Secondly, Bly thought to take on the role of writing about prison conditions, especially the treatment towards women. According to “Women Who Led The Way”,” Bly wrote about miserable conditions in factories; the mistreatment of women in prisons; and corrupt politicians”(Miller, 2001).

Basically, “Women Who Led The Way” is saying that she wanted to make a difference in the way people were being treated on a daily basis. She wanted to change the lives of others while bringing awareness to the public what is going on that they do ot see. Nellie Bly made sure to go into rough conditions which led to her setting the standard for yellow journalism as well. Nellie can also be put into historical records because of her recognition she still gets today.

The Christian Science Monitor writes, “Her remarkable achievements as a journalist and activist have led Google to recruit Karen O, lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to pen the first original Google Doodle song in her name” (Mendoza, 2015). The essence of what The Christian Science Monitor is saying is that her accomplishments have led o things we see and hear today. Her name was special to other journalists and human rights activists to put it in a song that could have been heard everywhere years ago.

Nellie Bly was also recognized as a leader in the reporting industry from companies around the world. The National Women’s Hall of Fame states, ” The New York Journal recognized her as the ‘best reporter in America” (“Selected Websites on Nellie Bly’s Life and Works,” 2008). The Women’s Hall of Fame’s point is that Bly made a name for herself after all of the hard work she went through. She made journalism popular at that time and recognizable after being mentioned in The New York Journal.

Nellie was considered a world traveler which counted as one of her most famous accomplishments and contributions to history. In The Encyclopedia of World Biography view, “Bly distinguished herself as a reporter at a time when the field was dominated by men, and her accomplishments won a greater measure of acceptance for other women journalists” (“Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman,” 1998). The Encyclopedia is saying that through some of her most greatest moments Nellie was able to prove herself o the community of journalists around.

There is no greater accomplishment than getting acceptance from other people as well as gaining a new understanding to a group of people. The Contemporary Authors Online agree when they write, “But Bly’s contribution to American letters and to social activism were far more profound than these stunts might indicate” (Miller, 2001). Their point in saying this is that Nellie Bly was able to get the word out after doing insane things to get a story and people did something to help. Bly was never begging for common people’s ttention; they were always listening to what she had to say, which was really impactful.

Overall, Nellie Bly was a historical figure because of her dedication and hard work that led to women being able to become journalists and shaped the journalism world to what we know it as today. Overall, Nellie Bly made her way into history because of the way she went out into the world and showed everyone the conditions people go through on a daily basis. Through all of her hard work, Bly displayed what it means to be a true journalist in America after meeting the set goal of her ambitions.

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