Avalanche

132143_10150117114246289_4233936_o“Snowfall, The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” John Branch is an incredibility descriptive piece of journalism. Immediately he paints a clear picture of the scene and the incident. There is no guessing about what happened and what it looked and felt like. He has a great lede and nut graph describing the incident and giving the face about how many skiers were involved, and how big the avalanche was. In the third paragraph Branch said, “Within seconds, the avalanche was the size of more than a thousand cars barreling down the mountain and weighed millions of pounds. Moving about 7o miles per hour, it crashed through the sturdy old-growth trees, snapping their limbs and shredding bark from their trunks.” This gives such a clear picture of the incoming avalanche and really lets the reader experience this incident in their minds. He does not direct quote from the witnesses and victims. He tells the story of Elyse Saugstad, who was swept away in the avalanche but he only tells us her experience, he doesn’t tell it from her mouth and I think that takes away from the story. He has great visuals, but she could have painted her own story if he had used her voice instead of solely his own. He halfway rectifies this with a video clip of Saugstad describing the accident, but the writing on its own seemed a little bare without any quotes. After the initial article comes a detailed description of the area which gives there reader yet another picture to add to the images that have formed in their mind while reading the article. Next comes a history of Tunnel Creek, and how it got its name. Accompanied by this part is another clip of Saugstad talking about skiing in powder while clips of skiers dance across the screen, this ties into the appeal of Tunnel Creek as the article is describing the snow conditions at tunnel creek. In this section we see direct quoting which gives the article a little more power and depth. The rest of the article describes how these skiers came to be in this area on that fateful day. It is accompanied by stunning visuals of the area and people who have ventured there. The article gives uses the inverted pyramid well and I think it is effective here. The BANG story is told at the beginning, followed by information attributing to the events of the story, and then the backstory is told as a follow up. The beginning is a great hook and the facts given along with the media added to the piece really makes it a stunning piece that shares an incredible story.

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