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Muckraking

Muckraking is an American term coined by an American president. We will examine the meaning of the term muckraking, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Muckraking means the act of researching and publishing stories about corruption and scandal, especially corruption and scandal perpetrated by famous people or politicians. The term muckraking was coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who used the term in a speech in 1906. Roosevelt was referring to crusading journalists who wrote stories with the aim of effecting societal changes. Roosevelt took the word from the work Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, written in 1678: “…you may recall the description of the Man with the Muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward with the muck-rake in his hands; who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.” Muckraking is the noun form, muckrake is a verb, related words are muckrake, muckraked, muckraker. Note that muckrake is a closed compound word, which is a word consisting of two words that are joined with no space between them.


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Examples

Le Canard Enchaîné, the muckraking weekly, revealed last month that Fillon had employed Penelope as his parliamentary assistant for many years – and she had apparently done little or nothing. (Japan Today)

Maverick indie director Zhao Liang continues his muckraking tour of China’s social and environmental woes with the stunning, cumulatively moving “Behemoth.” (The Chicago Tribune)

Warren Hinckle, a muckracking journalist who drew the wrath of mayors, police or anyone who got in his way, has died. (The Mercury News)

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