Muckrakers Successes And Failures Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Communication - Journalism Type: Term Paper Paper: #74602143 Related Topics: Maria Montessori, Montessori, Journalism, Steinbeck
Excerpt from Term Paper :


As a profession, muckraking has gained a bad reputation ever since President Teddy Roosevelt compared certain journalists to the obsessive lad in the Pilgrim's Progress. In this 1906 speech, Roosevelt likened many journalists of his day to the man who stood in ooze, holding his garden tool and with his eyes fixed downward (Kiee 2001).

However, the "muckraking" techniques of these journalists have shined the light on many issues and practices that need to be addressed.

These exposes regarding corruption and unjust practices have led to public outcry and have spurred social change. After all, the reverse view would paint muckraking as a profession as a research and revelatory-based process that challenges the status quo. One person's muckraker is then another person's crusading journalist.

This paper looks at historic and modern examples of how muckraking has spurred important social changes in American history. The later part of the paper also looks at modern examples of muckraking, based on modern issues and using modern technology.

Given their importance in challenging the status quo, this paper argues that muckraking techniques are an intrinsic part of journalism, and form an important foundation of American democracy.

For many advocates of investigate journalism, the original motivations for what came to be termed as muckraking were rooted in spiritual values. Journalism professor Robert Miraldi (2000) believes that at the start of the 20th century, the original investigative reporters believed that many religious institutions were condoning injustice. Journalists exposed how most of the tenements and slums in New York City were actually owned by churches. These investigative reports generated an outcry that forced the churches to clean the tenements and improve the


Montessori agitated for changes to the educational system that did not serve the needs of its students. Sanger wrote newspaper reports working conditions of women of the labor class before moving on to the more controversial topic of contraception (Jensen 2003).

A brief review of news exposes over the past century shows the important role…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Ehrenreich, Barbara.

2001. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. New York: Metropolitan Books.

Goldberg, Jonah. 2001. "The Decline of Muckraking." The American Enterprise. June.

Jensen, Carl. 2003. Stories That Changed America: Muckrakers of the 20th Century. New York: Seven Stories Press.

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