When it comes to advocating for social change in the United States, the mainstream press can sometimes seem ignorant to what the typical laborer wants.
For times like this, it may be reasonable for the laborers who feel as though they are being wronged to venture elsewhere for a public voice; to other publications that are currently attempting to advocate for social change.
The most successful publications to create change in the past decade have been blogs and small market newspapers. Each outlet finds a community voicing their problems and then exposes how those laborers are being wronged by their employers, and through personal discourse.
History of the dissident press in the United States can be gruesome to some because of the wrongs they were revealing, but nobody can deny that it was effective in creating social change.
During the 19th century in the United States, a century most well known for the Civil War, there were other plentiful injustices occurring and the people were beginning to shape ideas in their head that typical social mindsets during the time were wrong.
Newspapers like The Working Man’s Advocate and The Mechanics Free Press were essential in creating a labor movement within Philadelphia and New York communities with only a printing press and a small group of people helping to piece together stories.
The Working Man’s Advocate found a niche in supporting the poor who were oppressed for their labor by the extremely wealthy stating in Rodger Streitmatter’s book Voices of The Revolution, “It will be our object to draw the line as distinctly as possible between society living luxurious and ideal lives, and those groaning under oppression and miseries.”
While The Mechanics Free Press focused their attention on limiting workers to a ten hour workday.
Each newspaper found a voice in a community and strongly advocated for change when public system did not seem justified; the same can be said for present day small market newspapers and blogs.
For example The Morning Call, a small market publication in Allentown Pennsylvania, revealed the working conditions of Amazon warehouse workers of Allentown and how they as a staff were being treated unfairly by having to work through unbearable conditions. The story forced Amazon to change their warehouses all across the country because of the impact it made publicly.
A comparison between these two different generations of dissident press can also be seen through the critiques they receive from the mainstream press.
Two hundred years ago, the mainstream press were just as quick to discredit factual information coming out of the dissident press and lead on the rest of the public that they could not be trusted as they are now to discredit bloggers because they “do not understand the situation,” or “they are not real journalists.”
The case remains to be seen as to how they are in any way better then the bloggers who do not present factual information, when the mainstream media discredits bloggers presenting factual information in the right journalistic way.