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Muckrakers: then and now

Posted by: | October 22, 2012 | 4 Comments |

Muckraking is considered an early form of investigative journalism. In the early 1900’s before World War I, muckrakers reported on topics concerning crime, politics and corruption in society and were often considered watchdogs. They revealed scandal among the government and important issues that led to reform.

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair is a notable muckraker from the early 1900s. In 1906 Sinclair published The Jungle, a novel intended to describe the harsh living conditions of immigrants, which instead caused an uproar over the working conditions in the meatpacking industry. Sinclair established himself as a muckraker by exposing the horrors the American Factory workers experienced which led to

Another famous case of muckraking occurred in the 1960s. The scandal of Nixon and Watergate was uncovered by journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, ordinary reporters who believed they were just doing their jobs, nothing other than reporting the news. However, their investigation into Watergate would lead to the resignation of the president and forever ark them as muckrakers.

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

The film All the President’s Men, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, gives a pretty accurate depiction of their investigative reporting of the scandal.

The news today is constantly filled with stories of scandal in the government in politics. Journalists and reporters indulge in different types of reporting, especially investigative journalism and have turned into modern day muckrakers.

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