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Sex Trafficking, Scandal, and the Transformation of Journalism, 1885–1917$
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Gretchen Soderlund

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226021362

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226021676.001.0001

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William T. Stead and the “Soul” of Sensationalism

William T. Stead and the “Soul” of Sensationalism

(p.24) Chapter Two William T. Stead and the “Soul” of Sensationalism
Sex Trafficking, Scandal, and the Transformation of Journalism, 1885–1917

Gretchen Soderlund

University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses how alliances were formed between reform movements and journalism around the issue of white slavery and child prostitution in England. It then explores the process by which a crusading journalist, temperance activists, rescue workers, and social purity reformers, borrowed conventions from each other, sketching in theories, narratives, and methods, forming and publicizing beliefs about widespread sex slavery. The exposé of William T. Stead—the evangelical editor of Pall Mall Gazette—redefined prostitution in English popular culture and reform movements, paving the way to the creation of a productive synergy between journalistic and reformist domains.

Keywords:   prostitution, journalism, William T. Stead, white slavery, child prostitution

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