VR creates a new form of journalism

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Virtual reality or VR is becoming a vital technology for journalism and it is one of the newest trends in media.

“Through the perception of sight, sound, even smell, VR will cut us off from the current environment to get us into a simulated image,” said Francesca Panetta, VR editor of British newspaper |The Guardian.

Panetta said that virtual reality |journalism is in its infancy of developing a shared language. It will need to give audiences confidence in what they are offered as journalism, and it will need to maintain trust.

Experiencing a piece of VR journalism requires the “reader” to put a viewer over their eyes and listen through headphones. The more sealed off from other sights and sounds they are, the better the |experience.

For this purpose, 87,000 Google Cardboard VR headsets with |plastic lenses and a space to insert a mobile phone have been distributed in the UK. These are an affordable way to make accessible to many people.

Among The Guardian’s VR films, Panetta said, “The Party” |propels the viewer into the world of an autistic teenage girl, and “Crime |Scene” puts the user into the shoes of a trainee forensic officer trying to solve a murder. Panetta said that a range of experts on autism, and people with autism, were consulted for “The Party”.

The films can be viewed through |The Guardian’s app, on Facebook and on YouTube.

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