Muckraking (Is This a Bad Word?)

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A leader in our real estate comunity (whom we understand will issue a press release soon), has called the Lake Chapala Reporter a “muckraking publication” this week because we reported the May, 2014 ruling that found many of the top Lake Chapala real estate agencies and brokers guilty of price fixing. We looked up the term. 

From Wikipedia:

“The term muckraker refers to reform-minded journalists who wrote largely for all popular magazines and continued a tradition of investigative journalism reporting; muckrakers often worked to expose social ills and corporate and political corruption. Muckraking magazines—notably McClure’s of publisher S. S. McClure—took on corporate monopolies and crooked political machines while raising public awareness of chronic urban poverty, unsafe working conditions, and social issues like child labor.

The muckrakers are most commonly associated with the Progressive Era period of American history. The journalistic movement emerged in the United States after 1900 and continued to be influential until World War I, when the movement came to an end through a combination of advertising boycotts, dirty tricks and patriotism.[1]

Before World War I, the term “muckraker” was used to refer in a general sense to a writer who investigates and publishes truthful reports to perform an auditing or watchdog function. In contemporary use, the term describes either a journalist who writes in the adversarial or alternative tradition, or a non-journalist whose purpose in publication is to advocate reform and change.[2] Investigative journalists view the muckrakers as early influences and a continuation of watchdog journalism.”

Our position is that if no one is willing to report abuses, we all suffer the consequences. And so far, the local press hasn’t done it. Now the muck is pretty deep, so someone has to rake it. Let’s clean up Lake Chapala.

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