Muckraking is defined as a term meaning to "search out and publicly expose real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business." or "Investigative journalism conducted with the goal of bringing about social reform." According to our textbook, muckraking helped lead to child labor laws, workers' compensation laws, and the first congressional investigations into business practices.
Muckraking first came about in the early 20th century. In our textbook, it states that magazines and newspapers began crusading for women's education, suffrage, and other "feminist reforms". Some of the first major publications to use muckraking were Ladies' Home Journal and Collier's, which investigated "fake patent medicines". This was the beginning of the time when people began to look into such things as "poor working conditions, government corruption, and unsanitary practices in food industries."
"By 1906 Teddy Roosevelt, believing the magazines had gone too far, named them muckrakers, after a character in John Bunyan's epic poem Pilgrim's Progress who delighted in raking up filth. The magazines and their investigative reporters wore the title with pride, and muckraking came to be known as investigative journalism conducted with the goal of bringing about social reform."
Influenced by muckraking, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.