From creating the headlines to being the headiness, Journalists are exploring new and exciting ways to capture our senses and engulf us in the news. With the likes of the New York Times, BBC and The Huffington Post turning to virtual reality filming, viewers can immerse themselves into the story encouraging them to feel emotional connections between themselves and the people in the stories.
What the expert say
Part of the virtual reality technique is 360 degree videos, with this technique it is possible to capture everything from all angles and in real time. Sarah Jones, founder of 360 Immersive Labs at Coventry University said “It’s not just about telling the story, it’s about experiencing the story”, “thinking about the experience” as opposed to “talking about the experience”.
So Forbes recently said that VR would be just another “gimmick” but Sarah Jones thinks otherwise by saying “We don’t want this technology to be a gimmick. It’s too good to be a gimmick. If we go round and shoot 360 content of everything we’re not doing it a service, we are wrecking how good the technology can be. We want it to make a difference.” The concern that some experts in the field have is that people will just start using 360 degree filming for everything and ruin the real effect that it can capture.
Ben Kreimer a journalism technologist and beta fellow at BuzzFeed’s Open Lab for Journalism, Technology and the Arts said that he always asks “Will this story really benefit from being told in 360 degree, or are we doing this just for the novelty effect?”
However, both experts have a strong consensus that when you get the right story for 360 degree filming it’s an “incredibly strong and intimate experience”.
So at a glance here is what has been in the press over the last year
November – The New York Times launched a VR app and a Google Cardboard giveaway, it also debuted a VR film for the app called “The Displaced” and since the they have gone on to releasing a new VR film every month via their “nytvr” app.
April – AOL’s, Huffington Post bought out the activist news organization Ryot. Ryot have been making empowering news reports on VR and 360° for a few years now and have won 11 awards for their talent. Bryn Mooser, co-founder of RYOT said “Throughout RYOT’s journey, we searched for the next technology to bring us closer into the story and we found virtual reality.”
March – The BBC filmed their first ever full length programme in 360° on the Cern’s Large Hadron Collider.
June – Trooping of the colour in 360° to celebrate the Queen’s birthday
August – The BBC captured the Rio 2016 Olympics in 360 – degree coverage and it didn’t fail to entertain. They announced their new immersive 360-degree service for Rio 2016 Olympics in early August and they aired a live 360-degree video of an event each day of the Games, with around 100 hours in total with up to four different camera angles.
November – Sky, ABC news, TIME, CP24 news and the BBC film the build up and the USA Election night in 360 degrees.
With virtual reality and 360° they can be viewed on any device, PC’s, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and virtual reality headsets and with more technology becoming available at a reasonable price, businesses are seeking these new ways to deliver and capture the viewer’s imagination in an immersive, realistic virtual experience.