The Hill: We can't afford to let local news die

In late March, meat-processing giant Smithfield Foods announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at its plant in Sioux Falls. In a few weeks, more than 1,000 cases were tied to the plant. This news story started as a local one before Smithfield (and meat processing plants everywhere) were known as hot spots for spreading the coronavirus.

We only know about the story because of dedicated reporters at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Minneapolis Star Tribune. They investigated the cases and learned that Smithfield ignored employee concerns about health and safety, instead offering workers cash to continue working in dangerous conditions. Without local reporting, the story might never have come to light.

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