While VR is growing in the news industry, this mode of communication allows viewers to connect more emotionally to journalistic stories.
New applications released in the past year give audiences a clear and movable 360-degree perspective of the scene of a story, making it easier to connect with the event. While a narrator often reads over the audio of the visible place, the full-panel picture created allows viewers to place themselves in the scene, and TechRepublic reports that this invokes “understanding and empathy” in this form of storytelling.
While using virtual reality in journalism can help viewers connect to the story, it also provides implications in the same sense. Because it provides more of an experience for viewers, using virtual reality in some events, such as mass shootings or other violent situations, could be too much for audiences. Tom Kent, a Colombia University journalism instructor and editor for the Associated Press, calls for "an ethical reality check", while pushing for lines to be drawn when utilizing virtual reality in journalism. "Common understandings of what techniques are ethically acceptable and what needs to be disclosed to viewers can go a long way toward guarding the future of VR as a legitimate journalistic tool," he argues in a personal blog post.
CNN launched an official VR function in their phone app in March 2017, while other news sources, such as ABC News, have been posting 360-degree videos on YouTube since late 2015. These reports are not only educational, but also introspective.
VR is available for use on most devices, while the best experience can be found on a mobile smart phone. Many news outlets, like CNN and USA Today, have VR available in their apps, while Google Cardboard headsets allow viewers to get even closer in the experience. The New York Times sent out two masses of these Cardboard goggles to their readers, first in 2015 and then in 2016, in hopes of building their VR audience. The goggles can also be found on Amazon for as low as $5.99.
Deputy Eric Overall was struck and killed on October 31st while assisting during a pursuit in Brandon Township, and it is believed by the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office that he was deliberately run down.
Overall was deploying “Stop Sticks” on M-15 during a pursuit with the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office, and was struck by the suspect’s vehicle while he was “well off the roadway”. His death was ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma by the Medical Examiner, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the event as an intentional homicide.
The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office began the pursuit with the 22 year-old male suspect after he presented “actions and threats” at the LCSO headquarters. While he has four prior convictions, including for Possession of Marijuana and Resisting and Obstructing Police, the suspect, who is from Macomb Township, is currently being held at the Macomb County Jail.
Deputy Overall was a 50 year-old newlywed and father from Genesee County, and was a 22-year veteran of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. A GoFundMe account has been established in his memory, and to assist his family during this time. His funeral arrangements are pending.
Hello! My name is Kelly Mulligan, and this is my work-in-progress blog. I'm currently studying Journalism and Earth Sciences at Eastern Michigan University, and I hope to eventually use my education for journalism in the future. I grew up closer to Detroit in Lathrup Village and Southfield, Michigan, and moved to Ypsilanti during college, where I've been since then.
While I'm not working on journalistic projects for school, I am usually working. I've been working in retail for around 2 and a half years, and I've been working at a hotel for a year. Balancing work and school is a lot of the challenge I see in my life, as well as focusing on other things I like to do. While I attempt to have a social life, I also enjoy music (just as much as journalism), and spend a lot of my extra time listening to music, as well as playing guitar and singing.
Now down to the important things: Journalism. I'm currently working on my minor in Earth Sciences, which is primarily what I plan on reporting on for my future career (hopefully!). While most of my blog work will be on subjects regarding climate change, pollution, and worldwide environmental problems, I also plan on writing about things I find important too. This includes a lot of social movement issues, and some political issues as well.
Maybe I will even find some time to do experimental journalism, and I'm really hoping I will have some opportunities for travel journalism.
Looking forward to my next official post,