The Newswomen’s Club of New York is the only professional organization exclusively for women journalists in the New York metropolitan area. Our membership includes women who work in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, photography and new media.
The Newswomen’s Club was established in 1922 to support women in journalism and to promote the highest journalistic standards.
Nellie Bly, for example, started out as a reporter in 1880 at the Pittsburgh Dispatch with a series of investigative reports on the plight of women factory workers.
When she was assigned to the women’s pages, as so many newswomen were, she went to Mexico to work as a foreign correspondent.
Her dispatches were later published in the book, Six Months in Mexico.
When Bly was sent back to the women’s pages, she quit Pittsburgh and headed to New York City. Many newswomen made their marks here, working for some of the greatest newspapers in the world.
Persistence landed Bly at the New York World, where she took her most famous undercover assignment, investigating the infamous Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island.
Those reports were published in the book, Ten Days in a Mad-House.
Bly died in 1922, but the newswomen who established the club that year were no less extraordinary.
One of them, Emma Bugbee, worked at the New York Herald (later Herald Tribune) for 56 years. Her first big assignment was the sinking of the Titanic.
She covered the suffrage movement, and, like Bly, sometimes went undercover for her investigative reports. Bugbee became most famous for her coverage of Eleanor Roosevelt.
Like other newswomen, it was years before Bugbee was allowed to work in the city room. Her desk was on a different floor.
Sometimes, newswomen's desks were in the hall. And they were not welcomed to join press clubs.
The New York Newspaper Woman’s Club was born in 1922 out of a desire to achieve professional equality for newswomen, meritocracy in newsrooms, and to build a network through which newswomen could help each other. The organization quickly became known for its its dedication to the news business and the women reporters and photographers who were so vital to it. It earned high accolades for its high professional standards and generosity expressed through its welfare committee and relief fund.
Notwithstanding the adoption of a new name in 1971 to reflect the evolving news media landscape, our mission remains the same today.
Journalistic values and methodology are as relevant to a free press today as they were 93 years ago despite changes in technology and the distribution of news. As our industry undergoes some of the most extreme change it has experienced in the past century, we believe it is imperative to uphold the values that are the hallmarks of good journalism, to maintain the public trust, and to recognize newswomen who help set the standards for our profession. The Front Page Awards for journalistic excellence presented by The Newswomen’s Club of New York are among the most prestigious in American journalism.