“Muckrakers”Investigative Journalists in the Progressive Era Who were they? The muckrakers were people who revealed the injustices of the Gilded Age industries to the public. They were the people who changed the U.S. during the Progressive Era. Through books, newspaper and magazine articles, and photos, they exposed the plight of the very poor. Jacob Riis ● Jacob Riis was a poor Danish immigrant- he had even been homeless for a while ● He took photos for their “shock value,” to shock the middle class into helping the poor ● Unlike many reformers, he argued that poverty was not caused by a lack of work ethic. He praised “the honest, thrifty poor who live lives of heroism such as we cannot live.” Nellie Bly ● Investigative journalist known for her undercover work and “stunt” journalism ● She wrote popular, scathing articles about the working conditions of factory girls and the misogyny of unfair divorce laws ● Went undercover as an amnesiac to expose horrible conditions in the Blackwell Island Insane Asylum- “a human rat trap.” ● Sided with strikers and adovcated for orphans ● “Around the World In 80 Days” stunt Lincoln Steffens ● He was the son of a wealthy businessman ● A reporter in New York- Ida Tarbell’s boss! ● He wrote the book Shame of the Cities ● Steffens investigated corruption in the municipal govt. in cities. He also wrote articles exposing poor living conditions in NYC ● His reputation was destroyed when he testified in favor of a friend accused of blowing up an anti-union building. Ida Tarbell ● She was a teacher, an author, and a journalist. Growing up, her town was utterly ruined when Rockefeller made a secret deal with the railroad ● “They had never played fair, and that ruined their greatness for me.” ● She wrote many magazine series and biographies. The History of the Standard Oil Company (1902-1904), negatively portrayed Rockefeller and his unethical tactics. It had nineteen parts. Upton Sinclair ● As a child, he alternated between living with his poor parents and rich grandparents- exposed to inequality early on, he became a socialist ● Influenced by Tarbell and Steffens ● Wrote bestseller The Jungle in 1906, exposing unsanitary and dangerous conditions in the meat-packing industry ● Helped in the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act Lewis Hines ● Sociologist and a photographer. ● He took photographs of child labor in the 1900s that made the public call for child labor laws. ● One of the first photographers to take documentary photographs and got down to the level of the children to literally get their perspective. ● “There is work that profits children, and there is work that brings profit only to employers. The object of employing children is not to train them, but to get high profits from their work.” -Lewis Hines, 1908 ● Unlike Riis, he tried to beautify the Modern Muckrakers ● Michael Moore ● Makes movies about social issues ● Shows people what is wrong with our society and brings about awareness ● Made the movie Sicko about U.S. health care Why are they so important? The actions of the “muckrakers” led to the reformation of society. They caused laws to be passed to protect the people and their rights that otherwise would never have been created. These people gave their best efforts to better the people of the United States, and they deserve to be remembered by future generations. Works Cited "Biography: Ida Tarbell." PBS.org. WGBH Educational Foundation, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. Davis, Kay. "Jacob Riis." Documenting "the Other Half" the Social Reform Photograohy of Jacob Riis & Lewis Line. U of Virginia, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Jacob Riis: Shedding Light on NYC's 'Other Half.'" NPR Books. NPR, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Lewis Wickes Hine." The J. Paul Getty Museum. J. Paul Getty Trust, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Lincoln Steffens." Britannica Academic Edition. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Lincoln Steffens." Spartacus Educational. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Muckrakers." US History. Independence Hall Association in Philadelphia, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Nellie Bly." PBS.org. WGBH Educational Foundation, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Teaching with Documents: Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor." National Archives. U.S. National Archives and Record Administration, n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013. "Upton Sinclair." Spartacus Educational. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Oct. 2013.