The term muckraker was used in the Progressive Era to characterize reform-minded American journalists who wrote largely for all popular magazines. They relied on their own investigative journalism reporting; muckrakers often worked to expose social ills and corporate and political corruption. Muckraking magazines–notably McClure's of publisher S. S. McClure–took on corporate monopolies and crooked political machines while raising public awareness of chronic urban poverty, unsafe working conditions, and social issues like child labor.The muckrakers are most commonly associated with the Progressive Era period of American history. The journalistic movement emerged in the United States after 1900 and continued to be influential until World War I, when the movement came to an end through a combination of advertising boycotts, dirty tricks and ""patriotism.""Before World War I, the term ""muckraker"" was used to refer in a general sense to a writer who investigates and publishes truthful reports to perform an auditing or watchdog function. In contemporary use, the term describes either a journalist who writes in the adversarial or alternative tradition, or a non-journalist whose purpose in publication is to advocate reform and change. Investigative journalists view the muckrakers as early influences and a continuation of watchdog journalism.The term is a reference to a character in John Bunyan's classic Pilgrim's Progress, ""the Man with the Muck-rake"" that rejected salvation to focus on filth. It became popular after President Theodore Roosevelt referred to the character in a 1906 speech; Roosevelt acknowledged that ""the men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well being of society; but only if they know when to stop raking the muck...""