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Balanced reporting after WV high school’s Christian revival

Huntington High School senior Max Nibert holds signs for use during a student walkout at the school in Huntington, W.Va., Feb. 9, 2022. The protest followed an evangelistic Christian revival assembly last week that some students at Huntington High were mandated by teachers to attend — a violation of students’ civil rights, Nibert says. (AP Photo / Leah M. Willingham)

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Charleston, West Virginia, reporter Leah Willingham delivered multiformat coverage after an evangelical Christian revival meeting during school hours at Huntington (W.Va.) High School. Some students responded to the revival with a walkout in protest of what they call a violation of their civil rights.

Although school security turned away reporters who tried to cover the demonstration, Willingham recorded zoom interviews with student leaders and gathered user-generated video. She also had photos and an interview with the evangelical pastor after a separate evening revival.

Her all-formats package drew attention and earned praise for telling the story of the dissenting students, giving readers a more nuanced picture of West Virginia and the AP a better story.

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