Remembering a Queen of Investigative Journalism

An open house, with cake, in honor of Ida Tarbell's birthday.

TheCampusLogoOver the lunch hour today, students at Pennsylvania’s Allegheny College newspaper The Campus are holding an open house in honor of a trailblazing female journalist: Ida Tarbell. She was born on this date in 1857.

The student newspaper was founded in 1876. Tarbell was one of the first editors and also managed that year a most notable feat. From a recent write-up in the Meadville Tribune:

The only woman to matriculate at Allegheny College in 1876 and graduate in 1880, Tarbell set a standard for investigative reporting that journalists today continue to hold high.

“I think Ida Tarbell’s legacy is something that resonates deeply with the work we do for The Campus,” said Christina Bryson, the college newspaper’s editor-in-chief. “She never let anything or anyone stop her from doing her journalistic duty. Ida teaches us that it’s our duty as journalists to report the truth no matter how tough it may be to actually report. And I think as long as we continue working towards that goal of fairness and accuracy while also informing the public of the tougher issues, then we as student journalists are honoring Ida Tarbell’s legacy.”

In 1904, Tarbell published the book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which exposed John D. Rockefeller’s monopolistic practices. Eight years later, the Supreme Court broke up the company.

This spring, the school’s third annual Alleghany Journalism Conference examined the work of Tarbell and another fearsome “Ida” – Ida B. Wells Barnett.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.