Immersive Journalism: Virtual reality in news

The bigger picture: The way news stories are reported is evolving with virtual reality.

The Knight Foundation teamed up with google by setting a challenge where the winners are funded to create a technology that will further evolve VR in the context of immersive journalism. The contest saw 11 winners of which one was National Public Radio, NPR. 

Spatial and Head-Locked Stereo Audio for 360 Journalism by NPR ($15,000 | Project lead: Nicholas Michael | Washington, D.C. | @NPR@nicktmichael): Developing best practices for immersive storytelling audio by producing two virtual reality stories with a particular focus on sound-rich scenes. The project will explore, test and share spatial audio findings from these experiments.

NPR, said in 2014 “After two years, our Knight Foundation funded digital news training with member stations is coming to an end. We’ve worked directly with 827 people from 68 stations from 35 states and the District of Columbia. That’s not to mention the thousands of participants in our free online webinars”. 

At the end of the day I can see these advancements helping editors and journalists deliver truly immersive stories rich in information on a sensory level. While VR currently falls into existing Ofcom regulation, there’s a possibility of extended regulation in the future.