Controversial Issues In The Jungle By Upton Sinclair

981 Words4 Pages

From the time the word “muckraker” was conceived by President Roosevelt as an insult toward journalists, to the later years where the phrase was worn with pride, it remains that “muckraking” has had a profound impact on the way American society has reacted to controversial issues. While originally defined by Roosevelt as a journalist who ‘goes too far’ in the pursuit of their story, the definition has morphed through the years to mean one who “searches out and publicly exposes real or apparent misconduct of a prominent individual or business.” Though there have been a few instances where “muckraking” has led to an exaggerated response, when the proposed information was true, it had led to a groundbreaking awareness of situations in society. …show more content…

Though he was mostly concerned about the labor exploitation in industrialized cities, Sinclair’s gripping description of the filthy conditions and frequent contamination of food caused disturbing revelation in the public for the lack of concern over cleanliness and the disgusting conditions of the meat-packing facilities. Sinclair’s exposé and resulting public pressure on President Roosevelt led to the creation of the Meat Inspection Act, the Pure Food and Drug Act, and the Food and Drug Administration, which still regulates all food sold in the United States. Before Sinclair’s book, Americans were blissfully unaware of the state their food was being produced, but due to Sinclair’s “muckraking”, the public were now informed and took the proper procedures needed to right it. More modernly, the movie Super Size Me (2004), a documentary film that follows director Morgan Spurlock through a 30-day period where he consumed only McDonald’s food, highlighted the life-risking and dangerous qualities of fast food and—like The Jungle— attributed to change. Spurlock’s movie received critical and public acclaim, and six weeks after the release, McDonald’s removed the Super Size option from the menu and introduced “Go Active” adult happy meals. Though the effect …show more content…

Bringing “muckraking” into the 21st century limelight, Assange started WikiLeaks in 2006 to provide a place where whistleblowers can anonymously share classified documents under Assange’s editorship. Far from being a traditional journalist, Assange doesn’t personally investigate crimes or abuses, but supplies an instant, worldwide forum for those who do. While Assange himself is difficult to praise with his persecutions and charges, this does not discredit his solidity in creating a place made to drag truth into the light. It has been debated on for years upon whether or not WikiLeaks causes more harm than “good”, but what WikiLeaks actually does— to political parties, the military, and other powerful entities— is pull back the curtain of censorship, twists, and deception to show the public what’s really going on. The website provides raw data in the form of emails, documents, and videos; it does not tell the public what to think, but incites them to see the evidence and decide for themselves. At any rate, this form of “muckraking” has led to a more informed society by releasing accurate portrayals of events and

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