7.3: Investigative Journalism and Social Change

Investigative journalists have helped to create social and political change throughout history from improving worker conditions in the early 1900s (the early muckrakers’ work of Ida Tarbell, Ida B. Wells, Upton Sinclair, and others) to releasing the Pentagon Papers (Daniel Ellsberg; 1971), exposing sexual harassment in the 2010s (#MeToo), and uncovering the workings of the January 6, 2021 Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Formal portrait photo of Nellie Bly, facing to her right Nellie Bly by Unknown author |  public domain

You can go here to learn more about investigative journalists, past and present, including Nellie Bly (hailed by many as the first investigative reporter), Rachel Carson, and current examples such as the Pandora Papers and the Facebook Files.

Given journalism's potential to affect social change, what contemporary issues would you investigate?

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Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-UGi

In this activity, you will act as an investigative journalist as you explore a political topic of interest.

Activity: Investigate an Issue

Additional Resources: 

Connecting to the eBook

Building Democracy for All: Does Every Citizen Need to be Her or His Own Investigative Journalist?

Connecting to the Standards