For my multimedia journalism class, we read the New York Times article, Snow Fall: the Avalanche at Tunnel Creek, by John Branch. After reading and analyzing the article, we were told to write a response and post it on our blog.
This article was enjoyable to read and very engaging. I loved the multimedia aspect of the presentation – the videos and graphics helped break up the text and made the long story readable. As young media consumers growing up in this technological age, it’s hard for us to stay attentive while reading long, long blocks of solid text. The multimedia helped the article stay fun and engaging and prevented the reader from getting bored or distracted.
My favorite was the visual motion graphic displayed in the Tunnel Creek section of the article, which gave the reader a birds eye view of the Cascades in Leavenworth, WA. The view moves over to Stevens Pass Ski Area, to Cowboy Mountain, and finally to the Tunnel Creek backcountry. Text description of a location is one thing, but having a visual representation really instills the image in the reader’s mind and makes the viewer feel so much more involved in the story.
Another piece of the story that I enjoyed was how it began. The writer began the story as a narrative of a few of the skiers that were in the avalanche that day. It helped the reader feel as if they were there with the victims. However, a few paragraphs in, he shifts and begins listing more factual information about the story. I enjoyed this and it made me want to keep reading, since I wanted to know what happened to the skiers who I read about at the beginning of the story.
Crazy fact: One of the new students I recently met at Sierra Nevada College, Jake, is from Leavenworth, Washington. He lives near the Stevens Pass ski area and is big into backcountry skiing. Believe it or not, Jake was actually invited to go ski with the people in the article who were victims of the avalanche. However, his dad was sick that day and didn’t want Jake to go alone, as he was only a young kid at the time. Scary stuff.