In 1887 Nellie Bly, one of the first female newspaper writers, and a young reporter who would soon go on to make a career for herself as an investigative journalist and “stunt” reporter, had herself committed to the Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum in New York. Her purpose was to discover what life was like for those who had been deemed insane. She was surprised to discover the depth of mistreatement of the patients. Partially as a result of her reporting, more money was allocated to the asylum and reforms were put into place.
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