The Press: Return of Muckraking

A contemporary form of journalism that owes a good deal to the muckrakers of the early 1900s seems to be making a comeback. It is called simply "investigative reporting," and it is more often sober than flamboyant. Its results come from months of patient digging into musty public records and dogged cross-checking rather than from dramatic secret informants. Three years ago, only one or two of the 36 newspapers represented at Columbia University's American Press Institute had investigative reporters. Last year, three-quarters of the same papers boasted at least one. "It's one of...

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