Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Squeezing complicated lives into a simple headline"

Media has no time for courage today. It's click as fast as possible. 

To get a story, Nellie Bly fooled NYPD, the New York Times, New York Sun, Bellevue doctors and a judge feigning insanity to expose asylum conditions on Roosevelt Island as an undercover patient.  She wrote Ten Days In A Mad-House for Joseph Pulitzer's New York World

Today, gourmet stories are no longer digested. Readers drink quick Kool-Aid. 

"Squeezing complicated lives into a simple headline." 

Nellie's next journalistic expedition set a world record for going "Around the World in 72 Days." She went from Jersey to Jersey meeting Jules Verne in France.

Today, media is about being "liked." "Like" is the world's most popular human activity for ads.  


Grew up in Pittsburgh 

Nellie broke into journalism at age 21, when women were unwelcome, writing in a steel town. She persisted writing on topics no one else had challenged, defining the essence of investigative journalism. 

929 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn

Later Nellie  invented stacking garbage cans and a new kind of milk container. She received patents, becoming a leading industrialist. That all ended when her staff embezzled funds. She returned to journalism, and the world was probably better for it. 

words no longer kept

i saw the best minds of a generation
busy hysterically
yearning to be free
from the machinery

tech lets you do more
of less and less
gives you speed
to be busier and busier

people write more 
conveying less and less
words are no longer kept
words without beats

(words that stay in the memory beat on)