Publisher, Editor and Reporter: The Investigative Formula

Weinberg, Steve
March 2008
Nieman Reports;Spring2008, Vol. 62 Issue 1, p6
The article features nineteenth-century muckrakers Ida Tarbell and Samuel Sydney McClure, and offers lessons for investigative reporting in the 21st century. McClure, who started his own general-interest magazine in the 1890s, went to see American freelance writer Tarbell in Paris, France and asked her to freelance for his magazine. Tarbell achieved renown in the 1890s by writing serialized biographies of two famous men, Napoleon Bonaparte and Abraham Lincoln. McClure realized in 1900 that his magazine must tackle corporate giantism and rapacity in the form of trusts. He asked Tarbell to write a proposal tackling the Standard Oil Co., founded and controlled by John D. Rockefeller.


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