Immersive Journalism = A style of journalism where the viewers/people get first-hand experiences of the events or situations described in news stories.
GONE GITMO PROJECT
Gome Gitmo is a virtual reality game created by Nonny de la Pena. It’s a simulation of Guantanamo Bay where the player/person enters as a prisoner and sees what it’s like to lose his/her civil rights.
Project Syria is another project also created by Nonny de la Pena. Players use Virtual reality goggles and enter the world of a Syrian citizen caught in war.
The VR user is put in two scenarios. The first is a bomb explosion on a busy street in Aleppo, and the second is a refugee camp.
Nonny de la Pena descibed the virtual reality experience by saying: “It creates a duality of presence. You know you’re ‘here’, but you feel like you’re ‘there” too. And the experience is much more visceral. It’s really a kind of a whole-body experience and is very unique – different than radio, than television, than any other kind of format for experiencing a story.”
What’s The Idea Behind Immersive Journalism
To give the person the best possible experience of what exactly is happening. As immersive journalism is based on animations, the person can wear goggles and enter a virtual reality world and experience first hand what is happening.
News stories can often feel so far away: a person from Germany sitting down at 9pm to watch what is going on in Syria behind his TV screen can’t understand the emotions and the sheer depth of what is taking place in Syria: however, if he is put in a virtual reality world like the Project Syria, he will be able to sympathise with victims and the people a lot more.
This is because in the VR world, he will hear the sounds and see everything in a more graphic way: as though victims are crying right in front of his face.
5 TIPS FOR JOURNALISTS ON USING IMMERSIVE JOURNALISM
1). “Don’t make your audience throw up” Nonny de la Pena said. Any shake in the camera will cause motion sickness.
2). Be immersive – Don’t use the 360 filed of view like some ordinary camera.
3). Perspective is powerful – Immersive journalism is a powerful tool because it creates empathy in viewers – use this to your advantage.
4). Think ahead of focal points and cues – If there is a certain part that you want viewers to notice, think ahead by placing cues – this can be done giving the viewer extra time to focus on the scene so they take in more info. Remember – viewers have the freedom of looking wherever they want in VR, so cues are really important!
5). Tell a story – You may entice viewers with amazing graphics and a “realistic feeling”, but if you’re not telling a story then it’s all meaningless. You’re a journalist. Tell a story.