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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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The Journalism of Reform and the Reform of Journalism

The Journalism of Reform and the Reform of Journalism

(p.67) Chapter Three The Journalism of Reform and the Reform of Journalism
Sex Trafficking, Scandal, and the Transformation of Journalism, 1885–1917

Gretchen Soderlund

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the beginnings of reform journalism around white slavery in the United States. It explains how British mass culture helped reshape the landscape of American moral reform movements in the late nineteenth century. These reform movements would take on a complex national form as it was developed in a dialogue with American journalism, which it came to influence during this period. William T. Stead’s exposé changed American Journalism via a circuitous route: it sparked interest among the great number of female evangelical reformers to direct a number of their reform activities at the press itself. The chapter considers the relationships formed between the Gilded Age press and women’s moral reform movements and the role these interactions played in creating particular narrative styles, objects of inquiry, and the character and constitution of media audiences and practices to come.

Keywords:   white slavery, William T. Stead, press, female evangelical reformers, moral reform

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