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The journalists who specialized in exposing waste, corruption, and scandal operated at the state and local level, like Ray Stannard Baker, George Creel, and Brand Whitlock. Roosevelt gave these journalists their nickname when he complained they were not being helpful by raking up all the muck.
Other like Lincoln Steffens exposed political corruption in many large cities; Ida Tarbell went after John D. Samuel Hopkins Adams in 1905 showed the fraud involved in many patent medicines, Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle gave a horrid portrayal of how meat was packed, and, also in 1906, David Graham Phillips unleashed a blistering indictment of the U. The Progressives were avid modernizers, with a belief in science and technology as the grand solution to society's weaknesses. Characteristics of Progressivism included a favorable attitude toward urban-industrial society, belief in mankind's ability to improve the environment and conditions of life, belief in an obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs, and a belief in the ability of experts and in the efficiency of government intervention.
Across the nation, middle-class women organized on behalf of social reforms during the Progressive Era.
Using the language of municipal housekeeping women were able to push such reforms as Prohibition, women's suffrage, child-saving, and public health.
They also sought regulation of monopolies (Trust Busting) and corporations through antitrust laws.