Who is Ida Tarbell and how did she contribute to the rise of investigative reporting?
Ida Tarbell was born in 1857 and grew up in Pennsylvania (5). She learned about the oil industry from her father who was an investor in the oil business. She developed her investigative reporting from her career as a freelance writer of articles and published them using French culture. Her excellent writing skills attracted McClure who invited her to New York City to participate in writing his new magazine. McClure involved Ida Tarbell in writing articles, which developed his investigative reporting (83).
She contributed to the rise of investigative reporting after using her writing skills against Standard Oil Company, which was stronger in the world at the time. Ida Tarbell reported that the Company used illegal methods to destroy smaller oil Companies. She conducted investigations over those illegal businesses writing articles in McClure magazine. The reports resulted in legal cases, which continued to the United States Supreme Court (223).
Does Tarbell have connections to the oil industry?
Tarbell connected to the oil industry through his family whereby her father earned a livelihood through investing in the oil booming business. As a result, she grew up learning about the oil industry and obtaining firsthand information from her father. Ida Tarbell developed a great hatred towards corporations because his father operated the oil business alone and later died of stomach cancer. As a result, his sensitivity bore longtime hatred for standard oil leading her to write about it and exposing how big industries are controlled and operated by few greedy managers although owned by many individuals. Steve Weinberg presented her as not being neutral to standard oil in her articles since she was influenced by her father’s death (16).
What techniques did Rockefeller use to conquer the oil industry?
Rockefeller monopolized the oil industry in the 19th century through borrowing money which he used to buy some of his partners with the aim of controlling the refinery since it had been the biggest in Cleveland. He also obtained new partners to expand his interest in the business of growing oil industry. He bought rival companies and developed them to distribute and market its products worldwide. He combined the companies with Standard Oil Trust, which managed to control over 90 percent of national refineries, pipelines, and others. Moreover, as the manager of Standard Oil he constructed own oil barrels from a forestland of wood that Standard Oil purchased. Rockefeller employed scientists who would establish new uses of petroleum by-products. He also worked with railroad companies to disadvantage his competitors. Standard Oil could get discounts from the railroad industry when it shipped oil from its competitors. The transported oil resulted in lowering of standard oil where competitor companies could make losses and sell their businesses to Standard Oil. Smaller companies ended up bankrupt leaving Standard Oil to continue with the oil business (161-177).
How did Tarbell get a job at McClure’s Magazine?
Tarbell was an eloquent writer who could combine his analytical skills with senses of drama. Her skills portrayed in magazine articles attracted Editor Samuel Sidney McClure. She was invited and hired by McClure in New York to write articles in his magazine. Her insight in judging of character and gift placed her as a top writer. Tarbell reporting exposed tactics used by the progressive movement, such as capitalism. She explained their plan of exposing corruption in businesses and lawlessness in the political government (150).
Do you agree with Weinberg’s interpretation of Tarbell?
Weinberg interpreted Tarbell as one who grew up gaining experience from his father’s oil business. Tarbell continued with his Freelance writing career where she was hired to write articles in McClure’s Magazine. Weinberg denies her full credit of investigating the trust since Samuel McClure was the one interested in capitalizing on the country’s progressive movement through conducting investigations on the trust. Tarbell claims to be interested in writing about Standard Oil for many years since oil business led to the death of her father. She aimed at expounding on political, social and economic issues surrounding the oil business (101).
How did Theodore Roosevelt respond to investigative journalism?
Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th U.S president at the age of 42 served for two terms and had many successes. Investigative journalists of the progressive era placed themselves high above other people. They claimed to have the power to carry out a rebirth for the society spiritually and physically. Roosevelt responded to investigative journalism through offering speeches equipped with words such as progress and reform; he appealed to morals and right vs. wrong. Roosevelt gave sermons concerning the morality of daily investigative journalists who displayed a romantic form and used a moralistic tone. He rhetorically cast controversies that surrounded muckraking in the struggle between good and evil and right and wrong. Roosevelt made it clear to investigative journalists that good journalism is concerned with the truth, commitment to the best of the public and moderation. Roosevelt finally remarked that he could judge them according to the moral standards discussed in the speech (219-227).