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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Chartered Institute of Journalists to honour WT Stead


The Chartered Institute of Journalists is to honour Britain’s first investigative journalist – on the 100th anniversary of his death aboard the Titanic. President Norman Bartlett will lay a wreath at the memorial to W.T Stead on the Victoria Embankment in London on April 15.

William Thomas Stead was acknowledged as Britain’s leading campaigning and investigative journalist in the late 1800s, particularly for his work in exposing the white-slave trade and child sex abuse in London’s brothels by the nation’s upper classes. This resulted in the passing of the Criminal Amendment Act which raised the age of consent from 13 to 16.

As part of his campaign, Stead “bought” a chimney sweep’s 13-year-old daughter (Eliza Armstrong) for £5 which earned him a three-month prison sentence. He continued to edit the Pall Mall Gazette (which later merged into the Evening Standard) from his prison cell.

After his death on the Titanic, the Institute of Journalists launched an appeal to raise funds for a memorial. So much was raised that two memorials were erected, one on Victoria Embankment opposite Temple Tube station in London and the other in Central Park, New York.

For further details, contact Robin Morgan: 01226 203778 / 07594 672540 /