Summary: Immersive media has the potential to disrupt the journalism landscape in profound new ways.
Original author and publication date: Mike Cadoux – November 10, 2019
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: Holodeck journalism seems to be just around the corner. And I (Francisco), in spite of three decades in journalism, am to totally unprepared.
From the article:
While technical issues still limit, ambitious journalists are using all available platforms to get a glimpse of the storytelling media of the future. As immersive media increases in reach and functionality, 3D, AR, and VR platforms continue to further define how journalists will share their ideas. The most significant divergence from traditional media is the introduction of user-directed spatial dynamics, adding a new level of presence to readers. This will bring the concept of “spatial journalism” to the forefront of the industry.
While a video camera can tell a gripping story, but it cannot put you in a space with agency. That will change.
To now, spatial journalism has been limited by technical platform limitations, long production schedules, and relatively high costs compared to traditional media. However, technical advances are increasingly allowing these new stories to be delivered on more accessible platforms and with rapid delivery times.
It’s important to understand that this evolution of journalism is more than just using “cool holograms” to tell a story. Instead, it may use 3D imagery to immerse you, putting you in the cinematographer’s shoes. Imagine walking through a war zone, flying over 3D terrain maps, analyzing interactive data sets, standing next to Mick Jagger on stage, or bumping in a rover on Mars. Commercial television had a profound and revolutionary impact on culture and society, but it can’t give the viewer agency within an experience. With augmented and virtual reality technologies being advanced by the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook, and Snapchat, the capability to deliver users more intimate experiences will soon be at a critical point. This heightened journalistic medium will be incredibly important for affecting empathy and etching storytelling elements into the memory of the user.
Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein illustrates how memory is highly dependent on spatial understanding. Before written stories were viable, the ancients surmised that spatial learning was better for memory, so they created “Memory Palaces.” For example, go to a dinner party and (if you’re like me) you will almost never remember the names of new acquaintances, but a week later you could more likely draw an accurate diagram of the hosts’ home. If you can mentally place elements you wish to remember in that space, the memory will be more vivid and long lasting. The same can apply to impressions gained from quality journalistic storytelling. The effect of spatial journalism could usher in a new era of highly impactful stories that immerses viewers and makes a more lasting mark.