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Muckraking or investigative journalism as it was called brought along a new Era of writing Famous writers like Ida tarbell Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair raked in articles and books that changed history and the way people looked at society and politics These Americans brought the people the real truth the truth that needed to be revieled in order to make nessecary reforms that Americans take for granted today The Oxford Dictionary states a muckraker is one who is drawn to depraved interest in what is morally unsavory or scandalous Investigative reporting began almost unconsciously with Ida Tarbells History of the Standard Oil Company published in McClures magazine during the early 1900s This article depicted the illegal means by with John D Rockefeller used to monopolize Oil companies all over the United States Lincoln Steffens another notable muckraker of that time period followed in Ida Tarbells footsteps with the publication of The Shame of the Cities There were mixed reactions across the nation following these exposes George Washington Plunkitt a prominent political leader and involved in scandulous activities claims that Steffens gets mixed up Hell make a fatal mistakeHe doesnt know the difference between good graft and bad graft Tarbell and Steffens caused a stir in the country that made other journalists and ordinary people question the governments trustworthiness 1 He turned up a rock so to speak and found under it a variety of forms of civic evil normally hidden from the light of day or simply ignored Smith 74 These two principal journalists of the eary 20th century lead America into an age of questioning and changed the mentality of journalists throughout the nation What is a muckraker There are many definitions of this coined term It is most primarily a group of early 20th century American journalists who wrote detailed factual accounts of the political and economic corruption caused by the power of big business in the United States Brittanica
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