Immersive technology; the new ‘8D audio’ fad

The opportunity to use immersive technology is being seized by journalists who are seeking new and unique ways to communicate their stories to the public.

Of the Knight Foundations’ 11 chosen projects, one that particularly stands out is the ‘Spatial and Head-Locked Stereo Audio for 360 Journalism by NPR’.

The new ‘Twitter-fad’ is to listen to ‘8D audio’ versions of songs (on Youtube) that provide a fully 360-degree soundscape through a specially-encoded stereo file that has to be experienced through headphones.

Listeners are subject to a fully immersive experience. They are able to enjoy their favourite songs on a newly interactive level.

One ‘pitfall’ of immersive technology is the cost; all 11 of the Knight Foundations’ chosen projects cost over USD$15,000.

This high expense could distinguish well established journalists (who have the money to afford such technologies) and those less established.

As a result, smaller independent journalists may not have as many opportunities to use this technology.

Southwark Council bag first prize in National Transport Awards

Southwark Council have won the National Authority of the Year award for transport despite facing cuts in funding by the government.

The council have been recognised for their ‘Movement Plan‘ that aims to double the number of cyclists on the roads by 2028. This target is set to cost £30m and would lead to over 80,000 trips by bike made in the borough each day.

Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for Environment, Transport Management and Air Quality, said, “Our highways team works closely with communities across Southwark, making our roads safer, more attractive and open to a number of different users.

“It is wonderful to see them gain this esteemed recognition of their past successes and innovative future plans.”

Earlier this year, Southwark also won the Borough of the Year award at the London Transport Awards, a British Parking award for its kerbside strategy, and young transport professional awards.

The growth of citizen journalism

The growth in today’s Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram led world has provided a platform for the public to publish their own news; citizen journalism.

Unlike traditional journalists, the public are under no obligation to adhere to the moral and ethical rules of a higher news corporation.

Mobile phones allow anyone to photograph, record and write content to publish online. They give a platform for news to be spread globally by citizens that traditional journalists may not have. Traditional journalists often have to have their content checked and edited before release.

Citizen journalism allows members of the public to be ‘gatekeepers’ of the news in some ways; there is almost complete freedom in whatever content they choose to post, providing potential for fake news to be spread quickly.

Citizen journalism also breaks down the ‘gatekeeping theory’ as there is no filter (gate) upon the news that is published.

Twitter’s use of ‘trending hashtags’ is an example of how the number of views that relevant tweets get can be swiftly multiplied through likes and retweets. This often proves dangerous in the case of the dispersion of ‘fake news’.

Earlier this year an incorrect tweet saying that the Harry Potter movies were coming to UK’s Netflix spread:

The question however remains; do people trust citizen journalism, unsupported by money-making news corporations, or do they trust the safety of news outlets, in assumption that they refrain from producing fictitious content?

Southwark Council turns to public in new ‘Movement Plan’

Southwark Council’s new ‘Movement Plan’ is set to have a major impact upon transport routes and developments in Southwark over the next 20 years.

The councils’ aims include managing space, and improving community wellbeing; they have produced an online survey in order to hear what the public has to say regarding these developments.

Southwark Youth Advisors have been talking to members of the Southwark community regarding these changes.

Joshua, 22, has lived in Southwark all his life and expressed admiration to the council for this development; “it’s fantastic to see our voices not only being given airtime, but being listened to as well.”

@ana_captures_london stated on Twitter however that there are “high levels of pollution and issues with air quality” that the plan does not address.

Following the National Transport Awards where Southwark Council won first place in October this year, pressures are higher than ever for the council to give the public a say in their developments. 

How mobile news gathering is changing journalism

The growth of mobile news is becoming prevalent in today’s society due to decreasing levels of concentration, and increasing levels of competition between online news outlets. 

News titles or headlines are usually accompanied by a small video showing the news story to capture the viewers attention before they even have time to read the headline. 

Some news stories do not even have writing all together; they rely on short videos to relay the story. This can be seen on Snapchat’s ‘Discover’ platform (which often involves a misleading title and cleverly manipulated photo). 

The Instagram ‘Explore’ page works in a similar way. However, there is never any writing; the news tends to involve, again, a cleverly manipulated photo of a celebrity to grab the viewers attention.

The use of video is becoming extremely important in relaying news to mobile users as it provides a form of news in which the viewer does not require any effort at all to obtain it.

Mobile news is certainly adapting to decreasing attention spans regarding the news, primarily in the growth of short videos and often shorter and misleading captions/titles.

Peter Hugo’s ‘Portraits of Reconciliation’; a photographic analysis

A particular photograph that stood out to me was one in which a lady sat with her family’s killer behind, after having forgiven him and allowing him to work for her.

Cansilde Kampundu’s crossed arms and tired eyes show the pain and suffering she has gone through. She has clearly suffered many years of grief and heartache but has evidently reached a stage of forgiveness in her life, in order to move on. Her strong posture and folded arms also suggest she is a hard worker, disciplined and strong-willed. Overall, she seems to have taken the pain in her life and turned it into strength and power; traits echoed in her ability to forgive the perpetrator.

Juvenal Nzabamwita holds almost a smug and content expression. It is almost as if he appears to feel content with himself, knowing that he has been granted forgiveness. There appears to be little remorse for his actions in his position. His demeanour is relaxed and settled, again supporting these ideas. It is possible that he feels that he has ‘done his time’, and as a result, can move on and be forgiven.

The article can be found below:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/06/magazine/06-pieter-hugo-rwanda-portraits.html?_r=0

Borough apartments in the way of angry residents

“A boutique collection of just eight studio, one and two bedroom apartments and a fabulous three bedroom duplex penthouse positioned in the heart of Borough.”

Despite plans for completion in Summer 2018, these “luxury interiors” are still set to finish before 2019. Local residents have expressed their views concerning the delayed opening.

Situated on the Borough High Street, these studio apartments have been described as “out of place” by residents in the adjacent flats. This is due to the “crisp and clean architecture” upheld in a fairly industrial estate.

They also block the view of many surrounding residential areas. This has angered residents who were not notified of these building plans prior to the start of their construction.

Closely linked to Borough Station and London Bridge Station, the apartments hold close interconnections within and around London.

Investor and property developer of the project, the London Development Group, have stated that the housing development stems from a “passion for innovative design, meticulous attention to detail and strategic approach”. 

“Apartments and studios range from £525,000 to £800,000” stated Jackson Stops, the estate agent group managing the building.

Contact Nexus on 020 7620 3400 for more information on this development.