Report: How virtual reality will impact journalism

By Francesco Marconi

Learn how immersive media requires a new reporting approach and how publishers can leverage it by reading “The age of dynamic storytelling: A guide for journalists in a world of immersive 3-D content.”

The next iteration of immersive media is here. Today’s emerging technologies are capable of producing vibrant 3-D models that give audiences an even greater sense of depth and texture than we’ve experienced with 360-degree videos.

Viewers will soon be able to not only “walk” through virtual spaces, but also touch 3-D objects and interact with others — immersing audiences deeper into stories.

To understand what all this means for media, we talked with dozens of industry leaders in journalism, technology, academia and entrepreneurship. Their insights provided the foundation for this report, along with a study we conducted with neuroscientists at Multimer that measured participants’ engagement and brain activity when consuming immersive media content.

After reading this report, you will know:

1. A new reporting approach called dynamic storytelling that puts the news consumer at the center of the process.

2. Best practices in virtual reality journalism and the tools used, including the nascent technology of “volumetric capture” as well as computer-generated imagery (CGI).

3. Considerations when constructing a news story, including audience participation, the immersive technologies available and the various perspectives presented.

4. Key challenges in immersive storytelling and ways of mitigating those concerns. These include ethics and standards, newsroom workflows, technology deployment, skills and user adoption.

5. Data-driven strategies to produce and distribute immersive media across devices.


Francesco Marconi

Francesco is the manager of strategy and corporate development at The Associated Press. He is also an affiliate researcher at the MIT Media Lab and an Innovation Fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.

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