Best of AP — Honorable Mention


Lozano and Mumphrey dominate coverage of Texas high school’s hair discrimination trial



Texas reporter Juan Lozano and education writer Cheyanne Mumphrey dominated coverage of a court proceeding in the case of a Black teenager suspended from his high school for refusing to cut his hair — a case they have covered authoritatively from the start.

As the trial approached, they planned far ahead for distinctive coverage that would tap into huge audience interest. Mumphrey took on an enterprise story that explored why regulations on hair are part of public-school dress codes, and the history of students of students who have found them discriminatory.

Without options for visuals beyond file photos that had been widely used, Mumphrey also drew an illustration than ran as the story’s lead image. The illustration ran on hundreds of websites, including The Houston Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Detroit News, The Seattle Times, The Orlando Sentinel, The San Diego Union-Tribune and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Through consultation with the digital team, the enterprise story ran a day before the trial, and a plan was set for coverage of the event itself including extensive prep. The AP’s push alert beat competitors’ and was a full hour ahead of The New York Times’ push alert.

In total, the coverage received 156,000 page views on APNews and was accessed 1,141 times by AP customers.

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