Recently, it seems that West Virginia has been the subject of a raft of stories by the big-time media. It seems to me especially so of the New York Times, with articles like Road Trip to Trump’s Inauguration: ‘Glad to See My Efforts Come to Fruition’seemingly hoping to make sense of the country’s recent political upheaval by probing the thoughts of the people of the Mountain State. In historical terms, this isn’t really surprising- New Yorkers and others on the Eastern Seaboard have long held at least a little fascination with our state, dating back at least to the Hatfield and McCoy feud. Perhaps it helps that we’re so easy to get to, geographically, yet can seem so foreign to a big-city dweller.
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Much of this type of coverage is unflattering at best. It’s impossible to convey the complicated nature of a single person in a 1000 word news article, much less the nature of a state of 1.8 million. So what does get conveyed is often out of context. It’s misunderstood. It’s biased. Or, sometimes, it’s just as it appears. ““I don’t know that I would have been on the Trump train if I hadn’t have watched ‘Fox & Friends’ so much,” explains one man in the road trip story.
But Wednesday, the state, and Wheeling in particular, got a treat. A story and accompanying video by London-based Reuters explore the streak of inclusiveness in a land where outsiders wouldn’t expect to find it. It paints a pretty flattering picture of, as the author alludes to, the Friendly City living up to its nickname.