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Was muckraking an effective tool during the Progressive Era? To answer your question, yes it was. Muckraking was one of many tools used in the Progressive Era to bring about change. Muckrakers were people who effectively used journalism to bring about change such as Ida B. Wells, Upton Sinclair, and Lincoln Steffens. Ida B. Wells was not as effective in preventing lynching in the Progressive Era.  Ms. Wells used journalism to bring awareness to African Americans to the South. Wells led an anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s, and went on to found and become integral in groups striving for African-American justice. She confronted White women in the women’s suffrage movement who ignored lynching. Ida B. Wells is also the founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club. Upton Sinclair was effective in bringing awareness and eventual change in the meatpacking industry.  He exposed the dangerous and unsanitary practices in the meatpacking industry. Sinclair’s book “The Jungle” prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to launch a federal investigation about meatpacking.  Sinclair wrote the novel “The Jungle” to portray the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the United States in Chicago and similar industrialized cities. Lincoln Steffens was effective in bringing awareness to political corruptions. His writing inspired many different reforms. Lincoln exposed political corruptions and voter fraud at the local, state, and national level. “The Shame of the Cities” is a book written by Lincoln Steffens. It is a collection of articles which Steffens had written for McClure’s Magazine. It reports on the workings of corrupt political machines in several major U.S. cities, along with a few efforts to combat them. It is considered one of several early major pieces of muckraking journalism, though Steffens later claimed that this work made him “the first muckraker.  Lincoln was one of the best muckrakers who used journalism to bring about change. Muckrakers overall were effective but some were not as effective.  “Muckraking was a powerful journalistic force, whose supporters made it become so. Muckraking was the practice of writers and critics exposing corrupt politicians and business practices.” (https://www.cram.com/essay/muckrakers/P3PZDNNSC)  Journalism has been proven to be an effective tool to bring awareness and eventual change in America.


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