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Pulitzer Center Update March 26, 2021

Pulitzer Center-Supported Investigation into COVID-19 Spread in Meatpacking Plants Named Goldsmith Semifinalist

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A Tyson plant
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A reporting project exploring the systematic abuses of agriculture workers in the food industry in...

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A black and white illustration of three meatpacking workers lined up at a table with carving up cow carcasses. One is not wearing a mask, the next is coughing into his elbow, and the final man is too close to the worker next to him.
Graphics and illustrations by Veronica Bravo, Jennifer Borresen, Javier Zarracina/USA TODAY; Shane Keyser/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting. United States, 2020.

‘They Think Workers Are Like Dogs.’ How Pork Plant Execs Sacrificed Safety for Profits,” a story that was part of a Pulitzer Center-supported project published in The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and USA TODAY, has been named a semifinalist for the 2021 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.

The report, investigated by grantees Rachel Axon, Sky Chadde, and Kyle Bagenstose, focused on uncovering the exploitation faced by agricultural workers, specifically those in meatpacking, many of whom are migrants. The meatpacking industry emerged as a hotspot for virus transmission early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Three other grantees—Frank Hernandez, Heather Schlitz, and Valentina Oropeza—contributed to the broader project, COVID-19, Agriculture Workers and Our Food System.

“The judging committee and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Policy recognize and honor the high caliber of these projects, the hard work that went into them, and the impact they have made on U.S. public policy and politics,” the announcement reads.

The story was one of 30 semifinalists selected from a pool of 150 entries. Click here to view the full list of semi-finalists.

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