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Pulitzer Center Update June 7, 2023

Pulitzer Center-Supported Tyson Investigation Wins James Beard Award


Pulitzer Center grantee Alice Driver has won a 2023 James Beard Foundation Media Award. The James Beard Foundation, also known for its prestigious awards for chefs and restaurants in the U.S., designates standout cookbooks, broadcast media, and journalism on the food industry and food culture each year.

Driver’s Center-supported story “Tyson Says Its Nurses Help Workers. Critics Charge They Stymie OSHA” won in the investigative reporting category of this year’s awards. The awards were announced on June 3, 2023. 

The story, published by Civil Eats, is part of a larger project on labor conditions at the food processing company Tyson and the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19 on meatpacking workers. It follows the experiences of immigrant families, whose limited labor opportunities and status make them especially vulnerable to predatory practices at the largest meat processing corporation in the country. 

Driver uncovers how an internal health policy at Tyson routes injured workers to in-house occupational nurses to evade being reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Workers are left with little options for health care, workers compensation, and pay for damages. 

The work is related to Driver's forthcoming book, The Life and Death of the American Worker (Astra House, 2024).

Driver’s project was supported by the Pulitzer Center’s Global Health Inequities initiative, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, as well as individual donors, to investigate systemic inequities in health care and vaccine access.