“Girl Reporter”: Elizabeth L. Banks and the “Stunt” Genre
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© American Journalism Historians Association. This study sheds new light on the contribution of stunt girls to nineteenthand twentieth-century journalism by examining the career of one such reporter, Elizabeth L. Banks. Contemporary critics and powerful women journalists considered “stunt girls,” like Banks, unethical nuisances who “faked” news and trolled the slums for working-class exploitation stories. These critics believed “stunt girls” would have short careers, produce a predictable arc of stories, and constitute a hurdle for legitimate news women, who were trying to consolidate their recent gains in news work. Banks, however, did not fit that pattern. Her career was long and complex and not limited to covering stunts.
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