By: By Susannah Nesmith | Columbia Journalism Review
Atlanta became a national punch line last week, when 2.6 inches of snow paralyzed the city. But for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Snow Jam2014” was no joke. The paper provided impressive breaking coverage of the disaster, using social media to collect and share information with hundreds of thousands of area residents stranded along roadways with only their smartphones to guide them as city, county, and state governments failed. That work didn’t go unnoticed.
The newspaper’s website, which was opened up to non-subscribers, saw record-breaking traffic, with more than 8.5 million pageviews on Wednesday, Jan. 29, the day after the storm began, plus another 1.4 million on the paper’s mobile site. The following day, Jan. 30, saw an additional 5.4 million pageviews—the 11th highest day in the site’s history. For the full month, AJC.com drew nearly 89 million pageviews, said Drue Miller, the paper’s consumer marketing manager, with a monster slideshow of storm photos accounting for seven million alone.