Muckraking is the term associated with a group of American investigative reporters, novelists, and critics from the late 1800s to early 1900s, who investigated and exposed societal issues such as conditions in slums, prisons, and factories, and unsanitary conditions in food processing plants, and the practice of employing child laborers. Muckrakers often wrote about impoverished people and took aim at the established institutions of society, sometimes in a sensationalist and tabloid manner. The term was coined in a 1906 speech by President Theodore Roosevelt which alluded to John Buynan’s, Pilgrims Promise: 

…you may recall the description of the Man with the Muck Rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck rake in his hand; who was offered a celestial crown for his muck rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.

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