Nellie Bly “Nellie Bly Goes Undercover”(1887)

The New York World

“Nellie Bly Goes Undercover” These excerpts are from a series of articles that the flamboyant journalist Nellie Bly published in the New York World in 1887. To build readership for The World, Bly’s editor convinced the twenty-year-old journalist (whose real name was Elizabeth Cochran) to permit herself to be committed for one week to Blackwell’s Island, a notorious insane asylum in New York City. From this vantage point Bly reported–undercover–on the conditions endured by the asylum’s patients. In an age in which relatively few middle-class women worked outside the home at all, let alone in the rough-and-tumble world of journalism, Bly stood out. Although Bly was not the first reporter to assume a false identity, her reporting did much to popularize undercover reporting as a journalistic technique. Go here to view article

 

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W. Joseph Campbell (2017)

The Washington Post

“After the ‘Cronkite Moment,’ LBJ doubled down on Viet policy” The cherished tale/media myth is commonly known as the “Cronkite Moment” of 1968, when CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite supposedly exposed the bankruptcy of the Vietnam War. Forty-nine years ago next week, Cronkite declared in an unusual editorial comment at the close of a special report that the U.S. military was “mired in stalemate” in Vietnam and said negotiations might offer the country a way out. Go here to view article

 

Karl Marx “Dispatches for the New York Tribune: Selected Journalism of Karl Marx” (1848)

The New York Tribune

“Dispatches for the New York Tribune: Selected Journalism of Karl Marx” Karl Marx (1818-83) is certainly best known for his collaboration with Friedrich Engels that culminated in The Communist Manifesto (1848) and for Capital (1867), his incomplete study of capitalism as an ultimately unstable system. Yet Marx was also one of the most important foreign correspondents of the 19th century. From 1852-1861 and while in exile in London, Marx wrote for The New York Tribune and other periodicals, covering topics ranging from the Chinese Opium trade, to mental illness in Great Britain, to the British and American slave trades. Marx was unable to make a livable income as a journalist and remained financially dependent upon Engels during the entire period he was a foreign correspondent.

The New York Tribune

Ferdinand (Nandor) Eber (1860)

The London Times

In this excerpt, Eber describes an expedition mounted by Italian nationalist Giuseppi Garibaldi during the wars for Italy’s unification. Eber, who was Hungarian-born, was one of the first journalists who could be legitimately characterized as a war correspondent. In this report, he describes the unexpectedly successful attempt by Garibaldi and his tiny army of badly-equipped volunteers to overthrow Ferdinand II (“King Bomba II”), who at this time ruled southern Italy. Interestingly, Eber did more than just report. In addition, he served as one of Garibaldi’s military advisers.

(CU only)

Karl Karlovitz Bulla (1905)

Born in the German state of Prussia around 1855, he ran away to St. Petersburg when he was just a boy and eventually built a career as a pioneering news photographer, capturing everything from the Revolution of 1905 and the Russo-Japanese War to portraits of the tsar’s family and images of daily life. He was among the first news photographers anywhere to establish a photo agency. Go here to view photographs

Relation aller Fürnemmen und Gedenckwürdigen Historien (1605)

Relation aller Fürnemmen und Gedenckwürdigen Historien (Account of all Distinguished and Memorable News)

If you read German, here’s a digitized copy of what most historians have called the word’s first genuine newspaper, meaning that it was a printed publication intended to appear at regular intervals, containing current information, and circulated as widely as the technology of the day allowed. The Relation was published in Strasbourg beginning in 1605, though no copies dated before 1609 are known to survive. Go here to view article

Christopher Columbus (1493)

“Letter to Lord Raphael Sanchez” Columbus’s letter to the treasurer for Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish monarchs who had sponsored his voyage of westward exploration, was widely published and circulated throughout Europe. His description of the land, peoples, and customs he encountered was in effect the first news report about a world unknown to most Europeans. Go here to view article