Hello, Linda. Reading the Nelly Bly story today reminded me of the research I did on "muckraking" journalist Rheta Childe Dorr, an early 20th century feminist-identified journalist who did several of those participant observation journalism articles popular at the time. Including, for instance, working in the miserable conditions of a huge laundry, and travelling with a Russian battalion comprised solely by women during the Russian Revolution in 1917.
Dorr was an amazing woman but never got the attention that her contemporary Ida Tarbell received. (Incidentally, Tarbell opposed the right for women to vote--a fact not given much notice at the time I did my own research.)
I have a couple of papers I would love to transform into the story form you seek.