The Muckrakers: un periodismo del que hay que aprender

En mis clases aludo a este movimiento de fines del siglo XIX y principios del XX en Estados Unidos. Se trata de un periodismo que se volcó valiente a la crítica social y política. De la Universidad de Rutgers aprovechamos este resumen:

THE “MUCKRAKERS” AND THE “SOCIAL PROBLEM”

Upton Sinclair

A group of writers and journalists known as the “Muckrakers” contributed the Progressivism. They were members of the respectable middle class, and they popularized and disseminated their reform ideas. Along with the muckrakers was a group of writers called the naturalists, the naturalist school of writers because they wrote in the naturalistic style. Most of this writing occurred between 1890 and 1910. The Naturalist school or style in literature and the muckrakers overlap.

1. In 1890 Jacob Riis wrote “How The Other Half Lives”. He described the deplorable conditions of the urban slums in New York, with overcrowded, unsanitary tenements. It was not unusual for people in tenements to share a single bathroom on an entire floor of the apartment building. People threw garbage and trash into the streets or alleys. This made a popular audience aware of the poverty in the cities.

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Ida B. Wells: una pionera del periodismo de combate social

When Ida B. Wells was 22, she was asked by a conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Company to give up her seat on the train to a white man. She refused, and the conductor attempted to forcibly drag her out of her seat.

Wells wouldn’t budge.

“The moment he caught hold of my arm I fastened my teeth in the back of his hand,” she wrote in her autobiography. “I had braced my feet against the seat in front and was holding to the back, and as he had already been badly bitten he didn’t try it again by himself. He went forward and got the baggageman and another man to help him and of course they succeeded in dragging me out.”

The year was 1884 — about 70 years before Rosa Parks would refuse to give up her seat on an Alabama bus.

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