By Delani Griffin

Elizabeth Cochran, also known by her pen name Nellie Bly, was an American journalist that worked for the world renowned newspaper the New York World. Nellie Bly is most famous for her experience in the Blackwell’s Island Asylum, where she tricked the police into admitting her, and stayed for 10 days and 10 nights. Her article, “Inside the Madhouse,” {expresses} her experiences inside, how she got herself admitted, and why she did this.

Nellie Bly was first paid to be a journalist by the Pittsburg Dispatch, and she quit two years after because the newspaper moved her to less controversial pages where she grew bored. When she moved to the New York World, she began reporting for Joseph Pulitzer, and after her Asylum Expose she took a trip around the world to travel in less than 80 days. Both “Behind Asylum Bars ” and “Inside the Madhouse” are two articles that sparked Bly’s fame. “Behind Asylum Bars” talks about what it was like in the asylum, and “Inside the Madhouse” talks about in depth experiences inside the asylum.

At the time, Nellie Bly was quite vocal about women’s rights, and other social justice issues, like the dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz in Mexico. Bly wrote a book about her six months in Mexico observing this dictatorship, and she even protested the arrest of a journalist in the Mexican government. When the Mexican government found out about her reports, she was threatened, and had to leave the country. Nellie Bly never had the chance to retire, because pneumonia took her life at 58 years old.

Nellie Bly was incredibly important to American journalism,  paving the way for female journalists and showing true dedication to the press. She is, “the journalist that went undercover in an asylum,” and much more.


Articles for the reader: