Longform Narrative Journalism

“Snow Fall” and beyond

Authored by: David Dowling , Travis Vogan

The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138887961
eBook ISBN: 9781315713793
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Announcing that she was stepping aside as the New York Times editor-in-chief, in July 2013, Jill Abramson heralded her replacement, Sam Sifton, as the publication’s new “Snowfaller-in-Chief.” The designation carried the prestige of the December 2012 publication of John Branch’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” which recounts an avalanche that killed three skiers in the Cascade Mountains. It also pointed to what she viewed as Sifton’s most vital role: to guide the newspaper toward the digital magazine market. Sifton’s ‘first assignment,’ Abramson wrote, “is to create an immersive digital magazine experience, a lean back read that will include new multimedia narratives in the tradition of Snow Fall” (Pompeo, 2013). “Snow Fall’s” profound success transformed the work’s title into a verb used by editors who want to create similarly flashy and high-profile projects. When faced with a major story, editors reportedly began to ask their staff: “Can we ‘Snow Fall’ this?” (Abramson as quoted in NetNewsCheck, 2013).

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.