ERIC Number: ED162311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Limits of the Press as an Agent of Reform: Minneapolis, 1900-1905.
Kielbowicz, Richard B.
The limited effectiveness of the press as an agent of reform is considered in this paper in view of the role of the Minneapolis press in the rise and decline of a corrupt city administration from 1900 to 1905. The paper first posits a continuum along which press effects on reform may be pinpointed; it then discusses the muckraking era, which included the period under consideration, and tells of Lincoln Steffens's "The Shame of Minneapolis," a muckraking article about the Minneapolis scandal. The following topics are then discussed: the scandal, which centered on the gathering of graft by Mayor Albert Ames and his associates, using police authority as leverage; the way the three Minneapolis newspapers covered the administration from 1900 through the 1902 grand jury indictments of administration officials and the resignation of Ames; reform attempts by the new administration; and the 1903 indictment and subsequent trials of Ames. It is concluded that even the two newspapers that opposed the Ames administration did not probe to uncover the underlying pattern of corruption, that the papers printed the most revealing stories about the scandal only after the grand jury had unearthed the details, and that the newspapers' prescriptions for reform were confined to the area of the replacement of corrupt personnel, rather than addressing more fundamental changes in government structures. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota (Minneapolis)