Muckrakers and Political Reforms

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Student Question

How did the media promote the early 1900's political reform movement?

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During the Progressive Era, journalists known as muckrakers were instrumental in pushing reforms forward in many areas.  Political reform was no different.  Journalists exposed what they saw as problems to public scrutiny, this helped influence the public to put pressure on the government to change.

One of the most prominent of the muckrakers with regard to political issues was Lincoln Steffens.  Steffens published many investigative pieces on political corruption.  These were later collected in the book The Shame of the Cities.  By exposing political corruption to the public view, Steffens and others like him helped to push the Progressive movement for political reform ahead.

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