Journalism is one of those industries which can effectively benefit from virtual reality. More specifically, this new medium may turn the concept of journalism into something far more immersive. Engaging readers has become a lot more difficult in the past few years. With virtual reality, journalists can effectively tell a story. At the same time, there are some pitfalls to be wary of at all times.
Journalism and VR Can Yield Success
For a journalist, engaging with an audience is not all that easy. Especially when it comes to written content on the internet, the competition is heating up every single week. Everyone is competing for the proverbial eyeballs and there is only so much time people are willing to spend reading things. A new era will be upon us very soon in this regard and virtual reality may be the catalyst journalists have been waiting for.
More specifically, there are indicators of how VR can be beneficial to journalism as a whole. VR-based content is more engaging an immersive than reading black text on a white background as part of a website. Text-based articles will not disappear anytime soon, but it is evident the wheat will be culled from the chaff pretty soon. With virtual reality, the content itself is giving a sense of presence, while viewers have the feeling they are actually a part of it. Immersion is a very powerful tool in this regard.
Media Effects Research Laboratory’s S. Shyam Sundar states:
“VR stories provide a better sense of being right in the midst of the story than text with pictures and even 360-degree video on a computer screen. “This is remarkable given that we used two stories from the New York Times Magazine, which were high quality and rich in imagery even in the text version. What really makes people trust VR more is that it creates a greater sense of realism compared to text and that creates the trustworthiness.”
At the same time, there are pitfalls to be wary of. Using VR in a wrong manner can affect any journalist’s credibility as well. There is no reason to attempt and game the system whatsoever. The message still needs to be covered in a professional and concise manner at all times. It will be interesting to see how journalism and VR come together in the years to come.
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