Muckraking Newspapers And Maga

2102 words - 8 pages

Muckraking For much of the 1800s, newspapers and magazines had been relatively expensive and mainly a medium for poems, short stories, and other literary works. Besides the largely entertainment oriented approach of these magazines, the majority of the people that read them were upper class citizens of the cities. However, with innovations in the late 19th century that reduced the cost of printing, the price of the printed communication medium dropped drastically. Instead of upper class city-dwellers being the exclusive audience of newspapers and magazines, the middle and even lower class citizens started to read them on a regular basis. The content of the magazines and newspapers increased to cover news and editorials, as well as provide entertainment as in previous years. Shortly after, another type of journalism started to show up in the magazines. In addition to the general news, literary works, and other ?normal? features of magazines, there was the introduction of hard-hitting factual stories that screamed about the wrongs of society. This new type of journalism was called muckraking and those journalists that wrote in that style were known as muckrakers.Muckraking was a new type of investigative journalism that had rarely been seen before. Instead of the soft-spoken commentaries that were so common, the new journalism was filled with hard-hitting, well investigated facts. Muckrakers investigated the corruption of business, politics, and the labor movement and spread it all in front of their readers. They weren?t there to make friends or to appease the people who held power in the U.S.; they were there to make a point. They were there to point out policy and practice in America that needed changed or crushed and during the era, there were many issues to choose from.In the late 19th century, there was large-scale corruption across the United States. Politics, big business, and labor unions were filled with bribery and crime. The ?Land of the Free? had turned to the ?Land of the Few.? One of the biggest factors in this corruption was the rise of industrialism. Before the Civil War, a large corporation had a few hundred workers and a bank account with thousands of dollars. However, the corporation of the post-Civil War period made the previous companies look like small home-run businesses. As Ellen F. Fitzpatrick in Muckraking writes: ?Railroads, with their huge administrative structure, large capital investment, extensive numbers of employees, and complex business activities stood in marked distinction to most American firms in 1861. With thousands of miles of track, hundreds of thousands of employees, and capital accounts reaching into the millions of dollars, large railroad companies foreshadowed new forms of corporate organization that would be the hallmark of the modern American economy.? (4) As these vast companies continued to grow, there was a time known as the ?great merger movement? in which one hundred fifty giant holding companies...

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