Jacob Riis

Jacob Riis was a pioneer in using photography to promote the cause of social justice. Riis's How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890, was a remarkable study of the deplorable living conditions endured by the poor in New York City. His images, accompanied by his reporting, had an immediate and extraordinary impact on society, inspiring reforms that affected the lives of millions of people. Riis's reliance on specific, hard facts as weapons of social criticism pioneered a style of crusading journalism that continues today. His use of the camera to bring light to the circumstances and destitution of early immigrants to this nation became a model for judging the merits of photography in the following decades.

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