The Investigative Journalism Pencil
A tribute to Nellie Bly and investigative journalists like her.
In 1887, Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World tasked Nellie Bly, a yet unknown journalist, with investigating the insane asylum on New York’s Blackwell’s Island. She was asked to look into the conditions of the asylum and “write up things as you find them, good or bad.” She did so the best way she knew, by getting herself committed for ten days.
The resulting series, which she titled “Ten Days in a Madhouse,” is one of the earliest and most iconic examples of unbiased investigative journalism. It uncovered the brutal conditions in which patients were forced to live, and shined a spotlight on the misconceptions surrounding mental illness.
The Blackwing 10 is a tribute to Nellie Bly – and investigative journalists like her – who keep citizens informed, and give them a voice. It features a matte grey newsprint finish, dark grey imprint, silver ferrule, and dark grey eraser. Its extra-firm graphite is ideal for capturing notes in a reporter pad, or completing a newspaper crossword. The number 10 represents the ten days Miss Bly spent investigating a story that has impacted countless lives.