This collection of essays provides a critical and scholarly assessment of muckraking journalists at the beginning of the twentieth century. Contributors discuss how spiritual values led journalists to seek social change, through crusades and expos DEGREESD'es, sometimes at the price of public confusion and cynicism. They explore how the richest church in America was forced to clean up its tenement houses, how a Buffalo newspaper crusaded for improvements in living conditions for immigrants, why women journalists were keys to civic improvement efforts, and how muckraking and the crusading spirit permeated the press even in small towns. The authors place these stories in the context of various facets of early 20th century American culture.
These fresh perspectives on America's first investigative reporters will appeal to media scholars, historians and to professional journalists. An epilogue appeals for a return to the values and spirit of the muckrakers that might spur the public's interest and provide a moral center and ethic of caring in American journalism.