Figure 1.--Here are two abandoned children from New York slums photographed by muckraking photo journalist Jacob Riis.

The early 20th century was the heigth of the progressive crusading era. American poltics in the late 19th and early 20th century was impacted by two important reform movements, the Populists and Progressives. A major support for these movements were crusading journalists which came to be called muckrakers. Jourmalists and newspapers and magazines began to crusade against social inequities. Several publications became especially associated with crusading journalists, such as the American Magazine, McClure's Magazine, and Scribner's. Jacob Riis was one of the first muckraking journalist. One of the most notable tragedies that the muckrakers persued was the Triangle Waist Factory Fire. Conservatives objected to many of these publications and especially investigations inspired. They charged that the magazine and others were "muckrakers". The term was used variously with pride or to question the professinalism of the journalists involved. Muck means variously mud or barnyard dung. The term meant that the investigative journalists working to uncover corruption or abuses were digging up mud. The Term was popularized by President Roosevelt (1906). The mucrakers focused on a range of social issues. One of the most common was child labor.


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Created: 11:44 PM 8/24/2005
Last updated: 11:44 PM 8/24/2005