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By: Stoop Juice
Before the printing press was invented, word of mouth was the primary source of news. Returning merchants, sailors and travelers brought news back to the mainland, and this was then picked up by peddlers and traveling merchants and spread from town to town. This transmission of news was highly unreliable, and died out with the invention of the printing press. By 1400, businessmen in Italian and German cities were compiling hand written chronicles of important news events, and circulating them to their business connections. The idea of using a printing press for this material first appeared in Germany around 1600. Magazines flourished after Napoleon left in 1815. Most were based in Paris and most emphasized literature, poetry and stories. They served religious, cultural and political communities. In times of political crisis they expressed and helped shape the views of their readership and thereby were major elements in the changing political culture. Theodore Roosevelt coined the term "muckraker" during a speech in 1906. He compared investigative reporters to the narrow-minded figure in John Bunyan's 17th-century religious fable, "The Pilgrim's Progress": the "man that could look no way but downwards, with a muckrake in his hand." To others during the Progressive Era, the term muckraker characterized reform-minded American journalists who attacked established institutions and leaders as corrupt. They typically had large audiences in some popular magazines.
Page Updated Last on: May 15, 2020