Seven lessons for VR journalists, from the people who should know

Discussion in 'General Programming Topics' started by jesseylee, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. jesseylee

    jesseylee New Member

    As soon as virtual reality headsets became accessible, newspapers and broadcasters dived eagerly into it, determined not to be left behind as they were with digital. Three years on and they have produced some of the best work in the new medium. But as VR struggles to generate popular interest, the question remains: is it worth the effort?
    A new report by BBC Research and Development editor Zillah Watson for The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism provides some initial answers. Based on interviews with more than 20 VR practitioners in the USA and Europe, including the New York Times, USA Today, Die Welt, ARTE, the Guardian and Sky, the report shows an industry moving tentatively forward – but experiencing doubts about the long-term benefits.
    The report, which is released this week, has lessons not only for journalists but also anyone interested in VR. Here are seven things I learned:The New York Times wins praise for its “pioneering work,” as do The Guardian and public broadcaster ARTE, which created the multi-award-winning Notes on Blindness.

    One reason for this:

    the enthusiasm among journalists for VR. Part of this is simple curiosity – but there’s also a difference between VR and other technologies. As Paul Cheung, former director of interactives and digital news production at Associated Press told Watson: “For automation and AI [journalists] just think the robot is going to replace them. Whereas 360 is about creative energy – we’ll be able to cover stories that we probably found quite dull, differently.”

    But lots of bad work too, which is a problem
    If content is, as the cliché goes, king, then in VR the royal line is much diluted. Many of Watson’s interviewees worried that bad content – in particular the reams of cheap 360 video dumped onto YouTube – would put people off VR.

    As Max Boenke, Head of Video at Berliner Morgenpost put it: “I’m afraid that more and more people in news organisations use 360 for stories that are not interesting. Bad content will keep people away from watching it.”
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