Skip to main content

Immersive Journalism and Virtual Reality

Abstract

Immersive journalism is a practice that places the audience at the center of the journalistic narrative, creating first-person experiences by using Virtual Reality technologies and 360 degree video. This chapter reviews some of the current key ideas in understanding its importance and implications. Storytelling, empathy, the virtual/real duality, and interactivity are discussed along with several key works of the current new wave of immersive technologies. The text looks at both how immersive journalism connects to and how it innovates from the first VR experiences dated from over 20 years ago, in a moment when immersive technologies afford a context for these new storytelling practices to be consolidated.

Keywords

  • Immersive journalism
  • Virtual reality
  • 360 video
  • Interactive documentary
  • Immersion
  • Empathy
  • Interactivity
  • Remediation

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-96253-5_4
  • Chapter length: 29 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-96253-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   159.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Aston, Judith, and Gaudenzi, Sandra. 2012. Interactive Documentary: Setting the Field. Studies in Documentary Film 6 (2): 125–139.

    Google Scholar 

  • Aston, Judith, Sandra Gaudenzi, and Mandy Rose. 2017. The Evolving Practices of Interactive Documentary. New York: Columbia University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Benítez-de-gracia, Maria-José, and Susana Herrera-Damas. 2018. El reportaje inmersivo en vídeo 360º: diseño de un modelo de análisis. El Profesional de La Información 27 (1): 149–161.

    Google Scholar 

  • Biocca, F., and B. Delaney. 1995. Immersive Virtual Reality Technology. In Communication in the Age of Virtual Reality, ed. F. Biocca, M.R. Levy, 57–124. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bloom, Paul. 2017. It’s Ridiculous to Use Virtual Reality to Empathize with Refugees, The Atlantic.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bolter, Jay, and Richard Grusin. 2000. Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • de la Peña, Nonny, Peggy Weil, Joan Llobera, Elias Giannopoulos, Ausiàs Pomés, Bernhard Spanlang, Doron Friedman, Maria V. Sanchez-Vives, and Mel Slater. 2010. Immersive Journalism: Immersive Virtual Reality for the First-Person Experience of News. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 19 (4): 291–301.

    Google Scholar 

  • Domínguez-Martín, Eva. 2015. Periodismo inmersivo o cómo la realidad virtual y el videojuego influyen en la interfaz e interactividad del relato de actualidad. El Profesional de La Información 24 (4): 413–423.

    Google Scholar 

  • Downes, Edward J., and Sallly J. McMillan. 2000. Defining Interactivity: A Qualitative Identification of Key Dimensions. New Media & Society 2 (2): 157–179.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hofer, Matthias, Andrew Hüsser, and Sujay Prabhu. 2017. The Effect of an Avatar’s Emotional Expressions on Players’ Fear Reactions: The Mediating Role of Embodiment. Computers in Human Behavior 75: 883–890.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kiousis, Spiro. 2002. Interactivity: A Concept Explication. New Media & Society 3 (4): 355–383.

    Google Scholar 

  • Levy, Pierre. 1998. Becoming Virtual: Reality in the Digital Age. New York: Plenum Trade.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mapplebeck, Victoria. 2017. ‘A Virtual Mum Put Me to Bed’: A View from the VR Future of Film, The Conversation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Matias, J. Nathan. 2012. Behind The New York Times Interactive Team with Aron Pilhofer, MIT Center for Civic Media.

    Google Scholar 

  • Matyszczyk, C. 2017. Mark Zuckerberg’s Virtual Puerto Rico Jaunt Misses the Mark. Retrieved from https://www.cnet.com/news/mark-zuckerberg-puerto-rico-hurricane-virtual-reality-oculus-connect-vr/. Accessed 5 May 2018.

  • Milk, Chris. 2015. How Virtual Reality Can Create the Ultimate Empathy Machine. TED Talks.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murray, Janet H. 1998. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murray, Janet H. 2016. Not a Film and Not an Empathy Machine. How necessary Failures Will Help VR Designers Invent New Storyforms. Immerse.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pakkanen, Toni, Jaakko Hakulinen, Tero Jokela, Ismo Rakkolainen, Jari Kangas, Petri Piippo, Roope Raisamo, and Marja Salmimaa. 2017. Interaction with WebVR 360° Video Player: Comparing Three Interaction Paradigms. In Proceedings—IEEE Virtual Reality, 279–280.

    Google Scholar 

  • Peck, Tabitha C., Sofia Seinfeld, Salvatori Maria Aglioti, and Mel later. 2013. Putting Yourself in the Skin of a Black Avatar Reduces Implicit Racial Bias. Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3): 779–787.

    Google Scholar 

  • Preston, Stephanie D., and Franz B. M. De Waal. 2002. Empathy: Its Ultimate and Proximate Bases. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1): 1–20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reinhard, CarrieLynn D., and Brenda Dervin. 2012. Comparing Situated Sense-Making Processes in Virtual Worlds. Convergence 18 (1): 27–48.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rheingold, H. 1991. Virtual Reality. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ribas, Joan Ignasi. 2010. Interactive Discourse in Cultural Dissemination: Innovation and Electronic Readers. Hipertext.net 8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Riess, Helen. 2017. The Science of Empathy. Journal of Patient Experience 4 (2): 74–77.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sánchez Laws, Ana Luisa. 2017. Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy? Digital Journalism. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2017.1389286.

  • Shin, Donghee. 2018. Empathy and Embodied Experience in Virtual Environment: To What Extent Can Virtual Reality Stimulate Empathy and Embodied Experience? Computers in Human Behavior 78: 64–73.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Shin, D., and Frank Biocca. 2017. Exploring Immersive Experience in Journalism. New Media & Society.

    Google Scholar 

  • Singer, Tania, Ben Seymour, John P. O’Doherty, Klaas E. Stephan, Raymond J. Dolan, and Chris D. Frith. 2006. Empathic Neural Responses Are Modulated by the Perceived Fairness of Others. Nature 439 (7075): 466–469.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sirkkunen, Esa, Heli Väätäjä, Turo Uskali, and Parisa Pour Rezaei. 2016. Journalism in Virtual Reality: Opportunities and Future Research Challenges. In Academic Mindtrek ’16 Proceedings of the 20th International Academic Mindtrek Conference, 297–303, October 17–18, Tampere, Finland.

    Google Scholar 

  • Slater, Mel. 2009. Place Illusion and Plausibility Can Lead to Realistic Behaviour in Immersive Virtual Environments. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 364 (1535): 3549–3557.

    Google Scholar 

  • Soler-adillon, Joan. 2015. The Intangible Material of Interactive Art: Agency, Behavior and Emergence. Artnodes 16: 43–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sora, Carles. 2015. Etapas, factores de transformación y modelo de análisis del nuevo audiovisual interactivo online. El Profesional de La Información 24 (4): 424–431.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sora, Carles. 2017. Una inmersión en el audiovisual VR y 360. Serie DigiDoc-EPI, n. 1. Barcelona: Ediciones Profesionales de la Información S.L.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sundar, S. Shyam, Haiyan Jia, T. Franklyn Waddell, and Yan Huang. 2008. Toward a Theory of Interactive Media Effects (TIME). Four Models for Explaining How Interface Features Affect User Psychology. In The Handbook of the Psychology of Communication Technology, ed. S. Shyam Sundar. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sundar, S. Shyam, Jin Kang, and Danielle Oprean. 2017. Being There in the Midst of the Story: How Immersive Journalism Affects Our Perceptions and Cognitions. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 20 (11): 672–682.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tham, Jason Chew Kit. 2018. Interactivity in an Age of Immersive Media: Seven Dimensions for Wearable Technology, Internet of Things, and Technical Communication. Technical Communication 65 (1): 46–66.

    Google Scholar 

  • Uricchio, W., Sarah Wolozin, Lily Bui, Sean Flynn, and Deniz Tortum. 2015. Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism. MacArthur Foundation.

    Google Scholar 

  • Watson, Z. 2017. VR For News: The New Reality? Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, Chenyan, Andrew Perkis, and Sebastian Arndt. 2017. Spatial Immersion Versus Emotional Immersion, Which Is More Immersive? In 9th International Conference on Quality of Multimedia Experience, May 31–June 2, Erfurt, Germany.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joan Soler-Adillon .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Soler-Adillon, J., Sora, C. (2018). Immersive Journalism and Virtual Reality. In: Pérez-Montoro, M. (eds) Interaction in Digital News Media. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-96253-5_4

Download citation