Women’s Journey in Journalism with Brooke Kroeger

Date & Time
Sunday, May 5, 2024
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location Heinz History Center 1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh PA, 15222
Ticketing $10 for non-members, free for members

Explore women’s role in journalism throughout history with esteemed author Brooke Kroeger and the Women’s Press Club of Pittsburgh. 

Join the History Center for a headline-worthy program on Sunday, May 5 as we welcome acclaimed author, journalist, and professor emerita at New York University Brooke Kroeger for a special talk on her book “Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism.”

Presented in partnership with the Women’s Press Club of Pittsburgh, Kroeger will discuss how women went from the margins to the mainstream in newsrooms across the nation over the past two centuries. Featuring Western Pennsylvania women such as Jane Grey Swisshelm, Ida Tarbell, and Rachel Carson, “Undaunted” examines how women changed journalism, reclaimed their voices, and blazed new trails in a field dominated by men.

Following Kroeger’s talk, enjoy a panel discussion with members of the Women’s Press Club that reflects on women’s evolving role in journalism and considers how future generations will continue to rewrite history.

The event will fittingly commemorate the 160th birthday of legendary Apollo, Pa., journalist Nellie Bly, who famously pioneered a new era of investigative journalism in 1887 after her undercover stories for the New York World exposed atrocities committed at the Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum.

Before and after the program, learn more about the intrepid Western Pa. women who fearlessly pursued stories in search of the truth in the History Center’s new exhibition, A Woman’s Place: How Women Shaped Pittsburgh.


Admission is FREE for History Center members and $10 for non-members with advance registration.

The program will take place in the Mueller Education center, located on the fifth of the Heinz History Center.

Program admission includes full access to History Center exhibitions on Sunday, May 5. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the #1 History Museum in America for half price!

Not a member? Join today to receive free admission to this program and to the History Center year-round.

For additional questions, please contact programs@heinzhistorycenter.org.

Header image: Cartoon published in the Feb. 14, 1948, edition of the “Wastebasket”. Published to mark the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the Women’s Press Club of Pittsburgh, the cartoon is a commentary on the progression of women’s dress and involvement in journalism during the club’s first 57 year. 

About the Author

Brooke Kroeger is a distinguished journalist, professor emerita at NYU, and an accomplished author with six notable books. Her latest work, “Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism,” delves into the historical struggle and triumph of women in the male-dominated realm of American journalism. Kroeger’s earlier publications include biographies such as “Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist” and “Fannie: The Talent for Success of Writer Fannie Hurst,” as well as scholarly works like “Passing: When People Can’t Be Who They Are” and “Undercover Reporting: The Truth About Deception.” Her expertise extends beyond writing, as she has served as a UN Correspondent for Newsday, held editorial positions at United Press International, and directed NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute.

About the Moderator

Helen Fallon, a longstanding figure at Point Park University since 1986, has held multiple leadership roles at the university including chair of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and acting dean of the School of Communication. Fallon remains active in journalism as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Union Progress, striking copy editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and board member of the Women’s Press Club.

About the Panelists

Cindi Lash joined Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting in 2021 from Missouri Lawyers Media, a subsidiary of BridgeTower Media, where she served as editor and regional editor starting in 2018. She is currently vice president of 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR news station. Prior to her time at BridgeTower, she was editor-in-chief at Pittsburgh Magazine for four years and served as regional editor at Patch.com. With over 20 years of experience, Lash has worked as both a reporter and editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Her career began at the Indiana Gazette, and she has also contributed to publications such as the Washington Observer-Reporter, the Birmingham News, and The Pittsburgh Press.

Martha Rial is a renowned photographer whose work has been exhibited at venues including the Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Mellon University. With an impressive background including roles at the St. Petersburg Times and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rial has earned numerous awards, including the Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Photojournalism. She has also shared her expertise through teaching roles at Carnegie Mellon University and the Chautauqua Institution. Currently, she serves as the project manager for the McKeesport Community Newsroom at Point Park University.

Lisa Sylvester is an award-winning American journalist and television correspondent known for her work on CNN’s The Situation Room. She currently anchors newscasts at WPXI Channel 11 in Pittsburgh and WPGH’s 10 p.m. broadcast. Prior to her current roles, she worked for KTVI-TV, WMBD-TV, and WKRN-TV before joining major network news with ABC News in 2000. She later transitioned to CNN, where she served as a correspondent based in Washington, D.C.

Deborah Todd is the associate opinion editor at The Hill and president of the Black Media Federation. Previously, she managed communications at the University of Pittsburgh and reported on technology for Thomson Reuters, covering Google, Yahoo, and diversity in tech. She also contributed to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a business reporter focusing on technology and entrepreneurship. Todd’s experience also includes writing for the New Pittsburgh Courier.