The New York Times Snowfall story was the first that caught my attention, and it wasn’t long after that that I saw Rough Ride, a story about the oil boom in North Dakota by Todd Melby, and then I saw ESPN’s The Long Strange Trip of Doc Ellis. These long-form stories are not just beautifully written, but their web experience is storytelling re-imagined.
With the Knight Errant staff, for the last five years, we’ve always had a dual focus on longer, more developed stories and short, quick hits that cater to our audience’s short attention span. But our longer stories only rarely hit 800 or 1000 words, a far cry from long-form journalism. This past winter, I wanted to change that –– I wanted someone on my staff to take months rather than days or weeks to write a story. For the Knight Errant’s first attempt at long-form journalism, I looked to my senior staff writers, and to one in particular. Anne Arnason had proven herself as one of my top writers, and she was looking for something to do, so I asked her if she wanted to try something that the Knight Errant had never done. When I saw that that question excited her, I knew she was the right choice. Read More