About The Reflector
In 1752, a trio of reform-minded New Yorkers launched the first muckraking journal in American history, calling it The Independent Reflector. Their chief aim was to expose “the peculiar deformity of public vice and corruption.” Yet, the journal didn’t just highlight flaws in the existing system it also encouraged civic engagement in the political process. Ultimately, it held elected officials more accountable to the people, rather than to their own private interests, and in doing so, it played an important role in democratizing American colonial politics. Not surprisingly, the Independent Reflector aroused the ire of incumbent authorities, and the weekly was shut down after a year of publication.
Unfortunately, there is as great a need for muckrakers today as there was over 250 years ago. As EurasiaNet launches its own muckraking initiative, we think it appropriate to honor the groundbreaking colonial journal. Thus, we have called this blog The Reflector. It will focus on how authoritarian-minded governments in Eurasia are exploiting flaws in the American system in order to buy influence and positive PR. The Reflector will also strive to track capital flight in Eurasia, and expose how oligarchs attempt to hide their money abroad. In doing so, EurasiaNet shares The Independent Reflector’s belief that “public villainy ought to be rendered publicly infamous, whatever private detriment it may occasion to the corrupt individual.”
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