From the outside looking in, it’s easy to be flip.
Atlanta has shut down. The roads have iced over. And all in less than three inches of snow — which when it initially fell was just powder.
But, the narrative that’s playing out in the South’s biggest metropolis could easily occur in other cities farther North given the same circumstances: mostly poor planning and ineffective government incapable of dealing with the storm.
At the center of storm (no pun intended) are the journalists — reporters, editors and producers, online folks, really — that have spent the past several days caught up in the drama.
Because in any disaster, let alone one that completely grips a million people, the anxiety of the newsroom peaks.
Some stranded, people sprawled out on office chairs; Others slept on floors; And support staff worked without rest to keep the information flowing.
Kevin Riley, Editor (@ajceditor) January 29, 2014
All of that has been true of this, my first, snow storm in Atlanta.
Here, while Atlanta seemed frozen in place, dozens of reporters stayed put — many of them without a choice — while the entire lot worked remotely. It’s an uncanny dedication.
Some of the stories *from the newspaper’s editors recent note:
The personal journey of a reporter traveling 18-hours to get home to put her 4-month-old to bed.
A series of insightful looks into what exactly the governor, the mayor and others did in the run-up and the wake of the storm.
A take on the crisis that embroiled the metro-areas children, stranding many of them for hours in gymnasiums.
Atlanta traffic. http://t.co/GTp0n35EYp—
Katie Leslie (@katieleslienews) January 28, 2014
The work becomes especially important because the audience for the product we produce balloons. There have been record days. On Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had more than 12 million page views combined between its free (AJC.com) and its premium (myAJC.com) websites. The previous high was a little bit more than 6 million.
It’s a rare, and important opportunity; One that you hope you’re making the best of.