John McCracken

Investigate Midwest is pleased to announce journalist John McCracken has joined its editorial staff and will cover the industrial meat industry.

McCracken started Sept. 25. He is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“I am thrilled to be working with such a talented and knowledgeable newsroom on one of the most pressing issues in the region,” McCracken said. 

He joins a six-member editorial team. 

McCracken brings experience reporting on agriculture, environmental pollution and climate change through previous work at Grist, a national nonprofit news outlet. 

His past reporting was recognized with a 2022 SEAL Environmental Journalism Award and a Wisconsin Newspaper Association investigative reporting award. 

“Industrial meat and agriculture are underreported industries. John’s previous work strengthens our coverage of these areas, which is imperative to meeting our mission,” said Erin Orr, Investigate Midwest’s executive director and managing editor.

“Meatpacking is a critical part of our nation’s food supply. It is also an industry plagued by unsafe working conditions and labor practices,” McCracken said. “Even more, agriculture at large is at a crossroads when it comes to its contribution to climate change and being on the frontlines of the detrimental impacts of a warming world.”

“I look forward to working across the region to tell these stories.”

Investigate Midwest, also known as the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, was created in 2009 in Kansas City before moving to Champaign, Illinois, in 2012. It has won numerous national and regional awards for its in-depth, data-driven reporting.

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